ALTON - The O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots scored early and often on Friday night, scoring three times in the opening inning, then twice in the second through fourth innings, then added a run in the fifth and five more in the eighth to take a 15-2 win over the Alton River Dragon in a Prospect League baseball game at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park.

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The loss sent Alton down to fourth place of an already tight first half South Division race in the Western Conference, during the league's split season. The River Dragons fell to 6-4, a game-and-a-half behind the first place Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys, who are 7-2, and a full game behind the second place Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion, who are 6-2, and the third place Hoots, who are now 7-3. The Thrillbillies are two games up in the loss column.

O'Fallon started off with a bang in the first, with a three-run homer by Braden Hackworth, that scored Bryson Lofton and Andy Niebrugge ahead of him to give the Hoots a 3-0 lead. In the second inning, Ryan Stevens and Henry Zenor had back-to-back RBI doubles, which scored Kyle Byrne and Maury Weaver respectively, making the score 5-0 The River Dragons got those two runs back in the home half, as Darius Blackmon tripled home Civic Memorial's Bryer Arview and Jordan Aguello to make it 5-2 after three.

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After that, it was all Hoots, starting in the third, with a two-run single by Tyler Lang, scoring Niebrugge and Justin Simard to make the score 7-2. In the fourth, a Zenor sacrifice fly scored Weaver and make it 8-2. Lofton then hit a sacrifice fly in foul ground to the third baseman, scoring Stevens to make it 9-2. in the fifth, Zenor drew a bases loaded walk, forcing home Simard to give the Hoots a 10-2 lead.

O'Fallon scored five times in the seventh, starting with a RBI single by Stevens that scored Tyler Lang, a two-run double by Hackworth that scored both Zenor and Lofton, and Sinard reached on an error by the third baseman, scoring Niebrugge to make the final 15-2, the game called in the eighth, due tot he 10-run rule.

Blackmon had a hit and the River Dragons' only two RBIs on the night, while R.J. LaRocco, Jr., CM's Luke Parmentier, Arview, Aguello, and Eli Hill all had hits on the night. Father McGivney Catholic's Jackson Rodgers started on the mound, and went 2.1 innings allowing seven runs on three hits, walking five and striking out four. Scott Detweiler threw for 1.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, fanning one, Tanner Paschke pitched in the fifth, allowing a run without a hit, walking four and striking out one. Jack Gazdacka went for 1.2 innings, allowing three runs and two hits, walking one, and Additya Sur pitched the final 0.1 innings, giving up two unearned runs on a hit, walking one.

Alton goes on the road on Saturday, playing at the Normal Cornbelters in a game that starts at 6:30 p.m., then host Jackson for the second time this week, the first pitch set for 5:35 p.m. After an off-day on Monday, Alton travels to Hendersonville, Tenn. for a two-game series against the Full Count Rhythm on Tuesday and Wednesday, both games starting at 7:05 p.m., then staying out the road to play the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The River Dragons return home next Friday, June 14, to play the Hoots again at 6:35 p.m., then host a two-game weekend series against the Thrillbillies, Saturday's game starting at 6:35 p.m., and the Sunday game commencing at 5:35 p.m.

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