ALTON - The Danville Dans got key hits in a seven-run fifth inning, which helped propel Danville to a 12-4 win over the Alton River Dragons, earning a split of their home-and-home set Saturday night at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park.
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The loss was the Dragons' third in the last five games and dropped their second-half record to 2-4 and overall mark to 11-21.
Danville got on the board with single runs in the first two innings as D.J. Akiyama reached on an error that allowed Drake Digiorno to score and make it 1-0, then in the second, J.T. Waldon hit a solo homer to make it 2-0. Alton got a run back in the third on a Kaden Byrne ground out to second that scored Diego Murillo, but in the top of the fourth, Trey Higgins stole third and scored when the throw by the catcher got away for an error, putting the Dans ahead 3-1.
Danville went off for their seven-run fifth to ice the game, starting off with a RBI single by Waldon, then Sammy Leis hit a two-run single to make it 6-1 for the Dans. A RBI single by Digiomo and a two-run double by Trenton Pallas gave Danville a 9-1 lead and the final run of the inning scored on a RBI single by Chase Vinson gave Danville a 10-1 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the River Dragons got three of the runs back, starting when R.J. LaRocco scored on a wild pitch, then both Murillo and Civic Memorial's Bryer Arview had back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to 10-4. A seventh-inning RBI double by Digiomo and a ninth-inning sacrifice fly by Pallas scored the final two runs as Danville took its 12-4 win.
Both Murillo and Arview had two hits and a RBI each for the River Dragons, while Dominic Decker and Evan Evola had two hits each, Eli Hoerner also had a hit and Byrne drove in a run. J.T. Miller was the starting pitcher and took the loss, going four innings while giving up three runs, one earned, on three hits, walking three and striking out five. Metro-East Lutheran's Erik Broekemeier threw one inning and gave up seven runs on seven hits, walking one and fanning one, Decker pitched two innings, giving up a run on two hits, Eli Hoerner pitched the eighth inning, allowing a hit and striking out one and LaRocco threw in the ninth, allowing one run on one hit.
The Dragons travel to Quincy to play the Gems in a doubleheader on Sunday, with games starting at 5 and 7:30 p.m., enjoy Monday off and have a four-game home stand Tuesday through Friday, hosting the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots on Tuesday, the Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys on Wednesday, the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. Thursday and finish the home stand on Friday against the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings. All games start at 6:35 p.m. Alton and O'Fallon then play a three-game set, with a doubleheader at CarShield Field in O'Fallon July 17 at 5:35 and 8 p.m., then play a return game at Lloyd Hopkins Field July 18 at 5:35 p.m.
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