ANDERSON — The McDonald County Mustangs lost for the sixth time in their last seven games with a 5-0 loss Tuesday against Big 8 Conference West foe Monett.
The Mustangs could muster scant offense against Monett senior pitcher and Arkansas recruit Corey Spain and McDonald County senior pitcher and Cowley College signee Boston Dowd took another tough loss.
McDonald County, 4-7 overall and 0-1 Big 8 West, returned to action Thursday at home against Big 8 West foe Lamar.
Spain finished with a four-hit complete game shutout and he struck out 13 and walked one over 108 pitches and seven innings.
Joe Brown singled twice against Spain and Omar Manuel and Izak Johnson each rounded out McDonald County’s four hits with one apiece.
Dowd allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits with six strikeouts and six walks over six innings. Levi Helm allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits with one strikeout and no walks in one inning.
The Cubs scored three runs in the third and two in the seventh with Wesley Merriman and Estin McBroom — hitting No. 3 and No. 4 in the Monett lineup — delivered all five RBI.
Merriman hit a RBI single and McBroom a two-run double in the third, then Merriman and McBroom hit consecutive RBI doubles in the seventh.
McDonald County should reach 15 games played by the end of the week: after Lamar on Thursday, McDonald County returns home Friday for a game against Bentonville West (Arkansas) and then heads to Joplin on Saturday for games against the host Eagles (McDonald County and Joplin both play in Class 5, District 11) and Francis Howell.
The Wolverines of Bentonville West — coached by former Crowder head coach Chip Durham — own a 12-7 overall record and a three-game winning streak headed into their game Friday.
Joplin already owns victories against district opponents Neosho 9-7 and Webb City 8-6.
McDonald County defeated Neosho 2-1 but lost 7-3 to Carthage and 9-1 to Webb City.