A first base play for the Alton River Dragons. (Photo by Randy Manning)CLINTON, Ia. - Gage Mestas reached on an error by the second baseman in the top of the ninth, allowing Troy Johnson to score the winning run as the Alton River Dragons defeated the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings 3-2 in a baseball game played Monday night at NelsonCorp Field In Clinton.

The win snapped a four-game winning streak by the LumberKings and kept the Dragons in first place of the Prairie Land Division of the Western Conference, one full game over the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots, whom Alton will play four times during the next two weeks in key divisional games.

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The River Dragons jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a first-inning RBI single by Eddie King that scored Marcus Heusohn, then doubled the lead in the fifth when Noah Bush scored on a ground out by Edwardsville's Blake Burris to make it 2-0. The LumberKings tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of runs, the first coming in when Matt Scherrman reached on an error that allowed Trevor Burkhart to score, then tied the game on a Jeremy Conforti sacrifice fly that drove in Cade Moss to tie the game at 2-2. Alton won in the ninth when Mestas reached on the error that allowed Johnson to score.

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Mestas, Bush and King all had a hit and RBI each for Alton, while Burris, Blake Guerin and Alton High's Robby Taul also had hits on the evening.

Colton Hunt started on the mound and allowed only two hits while walking one and striking out nine. Carson Richardson fanned one while on the mound for the Dragons.

Alton is now 12-7 overall, 10-5 in the Western Conference and will enjoy Tuesday off before their home game Wednesday at Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park against the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp of Peru, with a 6:35 p.m. start. The River Dragons then face O'Fallon at home on Thursday in the first of their four key games, then play a home-and-home set against the Quincy Gems, with the first game Friday night at Quincy University Stadium and the second game Saturday night at Lloyd Hopkins Field. Alton is on the road on June 26 against the Hoots at CarShield Field in O'Fallon, then play at the Burlington, Ia., Bees on June 27, host the Normal Cornbelters on June 28 and finish out June with a game at the Terre Haute, Ind., REX June 29. All games start at 6:35 p.m, with the exception of the game at Terre Haute, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

Alton then has a four-game home stand over Fourth of July weekend, starting with back-to-back home games against O'Fallon July 1-2, both starting at 6:35 p.m., then host a pair of games against the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo., July 3-4, the Sunday game starting at 5:35 p.m. and the Fourth of July match-up starting at 6:35 p.m.

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