King Has Three Hits, Six RBIs, Broekemeier Hits Solo Homer, Salzman Gets Win As River Dragons Defeat LumberKings 13-4
CLINTON, Ia. - Eddie King led the way with three hits and six RBIs, while Erik Broekemeier of Metro-East Lutheran hit a solo home run and Piasa Southwestern's Brady Salzman took the win with four strikeouts as the Alton River Dragons defeated the Clinton LumberKings 13-4 in a key Prospect League game Wednesday night at NelsonCorp Field In Clinton, Ia.
The win extended the River Dragons winning streak to three and into a tie for first place in the Prairie Land division with the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. for the second half title in the league's split season. Cape is now 12-12 and the Dragons are 13-13 with three games left in the second half. Alton won the first half title and will play in the division championship game.
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After the first three innings were scoreless, the Dragons opened the scoring in the top of the fourth when Marcus Heusohn scored on an error by the left fielder to put Alton up 1-0. Broekemeier hit his homer in the top of the sixth to double the lead, but in the bottom of the inning, Rayth Petersen hit a three-run homer to put Clinton ahead 3-2. It lasted until the top of the eighth, when Alton hit the LumberKings with six runs, starting with a RBI single from Bryce Zupan of Civic Memorial, then another RBI single from Alton's Mike Hampton to put the River Dragons up for good at 4-3.
Another RBI single from Edwardsville's Blake Burris gave Alton a 5-3 lead, then got the big blow when King hit his three-run homer to make the score 8-3. The River Dragons scored five more times in the ninth, as Ethan Kleinheider stroked a RBI single to score Cameron Hailstone to make it 9-3. Gunnar Doyle then scored on a wild pitch and King cleared the bases with a three-run double that made the score 13-3. Nick Banowetz hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to make the final 13-4 for the River Dragons.
Broekemeier led Alton with four hits and an RBI, while King had his three hit, six RBI game, Burris and Kleinheider both had two hits and a RBI, Doyle came up with a pair of hits, both Hampton and Zupan had a hit and RBI and Hailstone also had a hit.
Justin Needles was the starting pitcher for the Dragons, going five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits, walking two and striking out four. Salzman threw the final three-and-a-third innings to gain the win, allowing an earned run of three hits, fanning four.
The River Dragons, now 31-26 overall, play the Burlington Bees Thursday evening in a 6:30 p.m. start, then finish the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes on Friday and Saturday, the first game at Robin Roberts Stadium in Lanphier Park Friday at 6:30 p.m., then play the return game at Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park Saturday in a 6:35 p.m. start. Alton will play the division championship game on Sunday, with site and start time to be announced.