Carthage saw a 4-0 lead slip away in one big inning and visiting Monett won 5-4 in extra innings Monday night at Carl Lewton Stadium.
The Merchants struck for two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Mason Goade and Koltin Greene each drew walks before Tyler Talley loaded the bases with a bunt single to first. Another walk forced in a run, then Jonathan Terry grounded out to second base to score Greene and put Carthage on top 2-0.
Monett threatened in the top of the fourth, putting two on with nobody out with a walk and a line-drive single. Carthage pitcher Sawyer Shepherd buckled down, though, retiring the side on a strike out, a foul out to deep left field and a pop out on the infield.
The Merchants scored two more in the bottom of the fourth for the 4-0 advantage, but the lead didn’t last long. Monett rallied to score four runs in the top of the fifth and ended the inning with the bases loaded when Dalton Dyer relieved Shepherd on the mound.
Terry reached base on a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth, and the Merchants put another runner on base in the sixth, but that was it. Monett put a runner on base with two outs in the top of the sixth after an infield error, with the runner advancing to third on a steal attempt and a wild throw. A walk put runners at the corners, but Dyer struck out the final hitter to get out of the jam.
Monett finally broke the tie in the top of the eighth on a one-out double to center field, scoring a runner from third. Terry led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, but Carthage couldn’t score.
“Monett is probably one of the better teams in our district,” Carthage head coach Jason McVey said. “We jumped on them early but they caught up to us there in the fifth. I’m really happy the way we played against a tough district opponent. Their team is loaded with all-star players from that area.”
Carthage plays at Joplin Wednesday night, with game one beginning at 6 p.m.