The Monticello Cubs entered into a welcome break from playing semi-pro baseball games after having four games in four days last week.
The Cubs lost all four in what player-manager Garett Hanken termed “a disappointing week,” and are currently off until Aug. 18, when they will begin play in the Peosta Tournament.
“We still have some season left to turn it around,” Hanken said, adding that the team might be able to line up a non-league game prior to their Aug. 18 game against Worthington in the Peosta tourney.
Monticello opened play last week with a 17-4 home loss to Dyersville on July 30. The Cubs took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double by Kyle Huxford and a three-run double by Ben Stutt.
Dyersville took control from then on, however, scoring 17 unanswered runs. The most damage came in the six-run fourth inning, which changed a 4-4 tie into a 10-4 Dyersville advantage.
“They caught fire, and we couldn’t match them offensively,” Hanken said.
The Cubs were held to three hits. Starting pitcher Evan Felton took the loss. Benny Welsch and Tyler Felton pitched in relief.
At Farley July 31, A.J. Reuter pitched a five-hitter with nine strikeouts, but Farley’s three-run fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie and sent the hosts to a 4-1 victory.
“A.J. threw a great game, but we didn’t capitalize when we had runners in scoring position,” Hanken said.
The Cubs left runners on second and third in both the fifth and sixth innings. Tyler Felton was 2-for-2 at the plate.
On Aug. 1, Cascade scored nine runs over the space of four innings to beat the Cubs 9-3 in Cascade. Monticello took a 1-0 lead when Reuter drove in Mitch Monk on a fielder’s choice. Cascade scored four in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead, and opened it up from there.
Monk pitched all eight innings for Monticello, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. Ben Stutt hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and finished 2-for-3. Huxford had a double.
“Mitch kept us in it and battled the whole game,” Hanken said. “Ben Stutt had a nice game at the plate.”
Monticello entered the Dyersville tournament Aug. 2 hoping to make a long run, but lost in the first round to Worthington, 7-5. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Logan Felton’s two-run single.
Worthington came back with a five-run second inning that proved to be the difference. Stutt hit a run-scoring double and Evan Felton had an RBI single in Monticello’s two-run second inning.
Logan Felton went 2-for-2. Reuter had a triple. Logan Felton pitched the first 3 1/3 innings and took the loss. Reuter finished the game in relief.
Taylor Aitchison was nominated to be Monticello’s queen candidate for the Dyersville Tournament. The ceremony is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10 at Commercial Club Park in Dyersville, between the tournament’s two semifinal games.
PHOTOS: Top: Mitch Monk of the Monticello Cubs checks the runner on third after pulling in a foul fly ball in the Aug. 1 game at Cascade. Bottom: Ben Stutt of the Cubs slides into third base safely in the Cascade game. (Photos by Pete Temple)