DANVILLE - Kyle Athmer pitched eight strong innings, allowing only a hit while striking out nine and R.J. LaRocco had two RBIs as the Alton River Dragons scored all of their runs in two innings, taking a 5-0 win over the Danville Dans in a Prospect League baseball game Friday evening at Danville Stadium.
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The River Dragons scored three times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh to take the first game of a home-and-home series against the Dans and win their second game of the league's second half of the season against three losses, improving the overall mark to 11-20.
Alton took advantage of an error in the top of the sixth inning to score three unearned run, starting when Erik Broekemeier of Metro-East Lutheran reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Bryer Arview of Civic Memorial to score and give the Dragons a 1-0 lead. A Tyler Imbach RBI single scored Broekemeier, with Imbach going to second and Victor Heredia scoring on a wild pitch to give Alton a 3-0 lead. In the seventh, a two-run single by LaRocco scored both Chase Bloomer and Eli Hoerner with the clinching runs as Alton took their 5-0 win.
Imbach had two hits and a RBI for the River Dragons, while LaRocco had a hit and two RBIs and Dominic Decker, Diego Murillo and Bloomer also had hits. Athmer went eight innings on the mound to record the win, the longest outing for an Alton pitcher this season, giving up just one hit while walking three and striking out nine, while Tyler Greene pitched the ninth inning, allowing two hits while walking one.
Alton and Danville play the second game of their home-and-home set Saturday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park in a 6:35 p.m. start, then the River Dragons play at the Quincy Gems in a doubleheader, with the two games starting at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. After an off-day on Monday, Alton plays a four game home stand July 11-14, playing the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots on Tuesday, the Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys on Wednesday, the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. on Thursday and end the home stand on Friday against the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings. All games start at 6:35 p.m. Alton then plays a doubleheader at CarShield Field in O'Fallon against the Hoots July 15 at 5:35 p.m. and 8 p.m., then host the Hoots again on July 16 in a 5:35 p.m. start.
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