ALTON - David Harris, Brady Mutz and Clayton Dean drove home all the runs, while Peyton Havard scattered three hits in six innings while striking out five and walking only one as the Alton River Dragons bounced back from a loss at Normal to defeat the Springfield Sliders 3-1 in a Prospect League baseball game Thursday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park.
It was a nice win for the River Dragons after having lost 12-2 on the road to the CornBelters on Wednesday night as Havard and two relievers stymied the Springfield offense, allowing only one run on five hits combined.
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Alton broke out on top with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead, but the Sliders halved the lead with a run in the top of the eighth. The River Dragons got the run back in the bottom of the inning to make the final 3-1 score.
Harris led the Alton offense with two hits and his RBI, while Mike Hampton of Alton also had a pair of hits, Dean had a hit to go along with his RBI, Harry Padden and Bryce Zupan of Civic Memorial also had base hits and Mutz had the other RBI on the night.
After Havard's great performance on the mound, Drew Patterson pitched in the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run on two hits, walking one and fanning two, and Tyler Bell pitched the ninth, not allowing a hit or run, waking two and striking out one to gain the save for Havard.
The River Dragons improve to 15-20 on the season, and hosts the Burlington, Ia., Bees Friday night at Lloyd Hopkins Field, with the first pitch coming at 7:35 p.m. Alton then travels to Clinton, Ia. for a weekend series against the LumberKings, with Saturday night's game starting at 6:30 p.m., and the Sunday game starting at 2 p.m. After the team's regular Monday off-day, the River Dragons host the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots in a doubleheader, with the games starting at 2:30 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. respectively, then host the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. Wednesday night in a 6:35 p.m. first pitch, then travel to Cape for the second game of a home-and-home set Thursday at 6:35 p.m. and play at O'Fallon next Friday night in a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.