ALTON - The Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp of Peru had two big innings - a five-run fourth, then scoring four more runs in the top of the sixth - and those two innings made the difference in their 13-6 win over the Alton River Dragons in a Prospect League baseball game Wednesday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park.
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The River Dragons lost for the third time in their last five games and are now 12-8 overall, 10-6 in the Western Conference of the Prospect League, now in second place in the Prairie Land Division, a half-game behind the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots, with the two teams set to face each other four times in the next two weeks.
Both teams traded a run each in the third for a 1-1 tie, but Illinois Valley scored five times in the top of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead, while Alton pushed across two in the home half to cut the lead to 6-3, the team again traded runs in the fifth, with the Alton run scoring on a solo homer by Eddie King, but the Pistol Shrimp outscored the River Dragons in the sixth 4-2 to take an 11-6 lead before adding on two more runs in the ninth to take the 13-6 win.
Edwardsville's Blake Burris had four hits to lead the River Dragons, while Bryce Zupan from Civic Memorial had two hits and drove in a run, both King and Noah Bush had a hit and RBI each, Gage Mestas also had a hit on the night and Marcus Heusohn also had an RBI.
Justin Needles started on the mound for Alton and went three-and-two-thirds innings, striking out three, while Bush fanned four batters, Alec Nigut struck out two and both Alton High's Mike Hampton and Kalen Reardon each fanned one.
The River Dragons play the Hoots at Lloyd Hopkins Field in the first of their four key games to wind up the first half of the Prospect League's split-season Thursday night at 6:35 p.m., then play a home-and-home series against the Quincy Gems, with the first game Friday night at Quincy University Stadium at 6 p.m., then host the return game Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. Alton travels to CarShield Field in O'Fallon for another key game Sunday night at 6:35 p.m, then conclude June with a game June 27 at home against the Burlington, Ia., Bees, starting at 6:35 p.m., host the Normal Cornbelters June 28, also at 6:35 p.m, then are at the Terre Haute, Ind., REX in a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.
The first half concludes over Fourth of July weekend at Lloyd Hopkins Field, with a two-game set against the Hoots July 1-2, with both games starting at 6:35 p.m, then another two-game set, this against the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo., July 3-4, with the Sunday game starting at 5:35 p.m., then the Fourth of July game to end the first half starting at 6:35 p.m.