CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Cape Catfish scored all of their runs in the opening three innings, going to an 8-1 lead, before the Alton River Dragons rallied, but fell short in an 8-6 loss to the Catfish in a Prospect League baseball game Tuesday at Capaha Field in Cape Girardeau.

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The loss was Alton's fourth straight, and dropped the River Dragons to 9-9, in fourth place and a game ahead of the fifth-place Catfish, still three-and-a-half games behind the first place Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion, two-and-a-half games behind both the second place Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys, and the third place O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots.

The River Dragons took a first-inning lead, when Dane Stevenson hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Luke Melton to give Alton a 1-0 lead. Cape drew level in the home half when J.J. Williams scored on a wild pitch, tying the game at 1-1. The Catfish took the lead in second, when Williams scored Quinton Richards on a RBI single, then Bryce Cannon singled home Williams, and Corbin Mallott reached on an error to score both Henley Parker and Cannon, later scoring on a double steal, Mallott stealing home, and Lane Crowden stealing third as Cape took a 6-1 lead.

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In the third, a RBI double by Steven Schneider scored Borders to increase the Cape lead to 7-1, then Parker singled home Schneider to give the Catfish an 8-1 lead.

The River Dragons started their comeback in the fifth on a home run by Justin Santoyo over the right field fence, then in the sixth, R.J. LaRocca hit a homer over the fence in left field to cut the lead to 8-3. LaRocca scored on a wild pitch in the eighth, cutting the lead to 8-4. In the ninth, LaRocca doubled home both Erik Broekemeier of Metro-East Lutheran and Melton, but it would be as close as the River Dragons would get, as the Catfish took the 8-6 win.

LaRocca had three hits and three RBIs for Alton, while Santoyo had a hit and RBI, Melton, Broekemeier, Joe Connolly, and Xian'en Zeng all had hits, and Stevenson had a RBI.

I Hung Yeh was the starting pitcher for the River Dragons, and was charged with the loss, going 1.2 innings and giving up six runs, three earned, on six hits, walking three and striking out one, while Bryce Louis went 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, walking one. Matthew Brown threw three innings, giving up a hit, walking three and fanning two, and Aiden Adams pitched the final two innings, allowing only a hit, while walking one and striking out two.

The River Dragons play a very critical two-game series at Jackson Wednesday and Thursday, with both games starting at 7 p.m., then play at O'Fallon on Friday in a 6:35 p.m., and finish the road trip on Saturday at the Burlington, Ia., Bees, with the first pitch coming at 6:30 p.m., with Alton returning home to face the Normal Cornbelters Sunday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park in a 5:35 p.m. first pitch.

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