ALTON - Erik Broekemeier of Metro-East Lutheran stroked a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, and it proved to be the difference as good relief pitching from the Alton River Dragons shut down the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings in Alton's 4-3 win in a Prospect League game played Sunday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park.

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The win was the River Dragons' fourth in a row, and have now won five of their first six games on the season, and are now a full game ahead of both the Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys and the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots in the South Division of the Western Conference in the league's first half of their split season.

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Clinton got on the boar first with two runs in the third. Back-to-back RBI singles by Rayth Petersen and Chase Womack scored Blake Timmons and Will Stark, respectively, to put Clinton up 2-0. Alton pulled to within 2-1 in the home half on a wild pitch that plated Diego Murillo, and sent Joe Connolly to second to cut the LumberKing lead to 2-1.

A bases loaded balk by the pitcher in the fifth allowed Cole Schrank to score, and moved Murillo to third, and Cooper Howell to second, tying the game at 2-2. Both scored on Brokemeier's infield single to short to put Alton in front 4-2. It stayed that way until the top of the seventh, when a RBI single by Stark scored Danny Gavin to put the LumberKings to within 4-3, but there would be no further scoring in the game, as Alton pitching shut down Clinton the rest of the way to preserve the 4-3 win.

Connolly and Murillo both had two hits for the River Dragons, while Broekemeier had a hit and two RBIs, and Howell, Xian'en Zeng, and Schrank all had hits. Gabe Smith started on the mound, and went three innings, allowing two runs on three hits, walking two and striking out four. Tanner Paschke came in and pitched three innings to earn the win, giving up two hits while fanning five, Jacob Hammer pitched in the seventh, conceding a run on two hits, fanning one, and Harrison Dubois went the final two innings to get his third save of the season, striking out one.

After an off-day on Monday, Alton goes on the road Tuesday to play the Terre Haute, Ind., REX for a game that starts at 5:30 p.m., St. Louis time, then plays four of the next five games at home, meeting the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. on Wednesday, the Rockabillys on Thursday, and the Hoots on Friday, all games starting at 6:35 p.m., then go on the road for one game on Saturday at the Normal Cornbelters at 6:30 p.m., then return home next Sunday, June 9, to play Jackson in a 5:35 p.m. start.

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