ALTON - The Alton River Dragons got back on track over the weekend, taking their two weekend games in the Prospect League, winning at the Burlington, Ia., Bees 12-7 Saturday night at Burlington Community Field, then returning home to Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park and defeated the Normal CornBelters 19-9.

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The two wins put Alton up to 12-11 and still fourth place in the South Division of the Western Conference with five games left in the first half of the split season, The River Dragons are currently five games behind the division-leading Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion, six ahead on the loss side, two-and-a-half games behind the second place Jackson, Tenn., Rockabilly, and a game-and-a-half in back of the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots, who are currently in third. Alton is two games ahead of the fifth-place Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo.

On Saturday night, Burlington took the early lead with a run in the first, which was countered in the top of the second by the River Dragons to tie things up at 1-1. Both teams traded two runs in the fourth to keep the game tied, then Alton scored twice in the sixth, and three times in the seventh, countered by the Bees scoring once in the seventh, and three times in the eighth, making the score 8-7 for the River Dragons, who then put the game away with four more runs in the top of the ninth to make the final 12-7 for Alton

Erik Broekemier of Metro-East Lutheran led the way at the plate for the River Dragons, with three hits, including a game-tying solo homer in the second inning, and two RBIs, while both Justin Santoyo and Jordan Aguello had two hits apiece, Cole Schwank hit a three-run homer in the seventh to put Alton up for good,, it being his only hit of the game to go along with four RBIs, Joe Connolly, Eli Hill, and Diego Murilla all had a hit and RBI, and Cooper Howell also had a hit.

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Dylan Mannino was the starting pitcher and went 3.2 innings, and allowed three runs on four hits, walking five and striking out four, while Aidan Adams picked up the win, pitching 1.1 innings and conceded only a hit while walking one, Tanner Paschke threw two innings, giving up an unearned run on a hit, while Harrison Dubois earned his second save of the season, pitching the final two innings and giving up three unearned runs on two hits, walking three and fanning three.

In Sunday's win over Normal, the CornBelters started off with a three-run first inning, with Alton scoring a single run in the third to cut the lead to 3-1. Normal then scored three times in the top of the fourth to make it 6-1, but the River Dragons scored seven runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 8-6. A single run for the CornBelters in the fifth cut the lead to 8-7, but the River Dragons scored four more times in the fifth to make the score 12-7 for Alton. Normal scored twice in the sixth, but the River Dragons then scored twice in the seventh and five more times in the eighth to take the 19-9 win, with the game being terminated by the 10-run rule.

Cooper Howell led Alton with four hits and four RBIs, with Murillo having three hits and three RBIs, both Santoyo and Dane Stevenson both had two hits and four RBIs, with Stevenson blasting a three-run homer in the fourth, Connolly, Broekemeier, and Jason Schiera all had two hits and a RBI, Luke Parmentier of Civic Memorial had two hits. Eli Hill had a hit and RBI.

I Hung Yeh was the starter on the mound, and went 3.2 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out one, Jack Gazdacka was credited with win, going 0.2 innings, and gave up a run on two hits, walking one and striking out one. Connor Jackson went one inning, and gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits, walking two and fanning two. Matt Brown pitched 1.2 innings, conceding a hit while walking one, and Jacob Brown went the final inning, givng up only two hits.

The River Dragons conclude the first half of the season this week in the middle of a home stand that continues on Tuesday against the Full Count Rhythm of Hendersonville, Tenn, then host the Terre Haute, Ind., REX on Wednesday, and the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes Thursday, with all games starting at 6:35 p.m., then play at O'Fallon on Friday night, and conclude the first half hosting the Rhythm on Saturday, both games also starting at 6:35 p.m.

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