CLINTON, IOWA - A.J. Pabst had three hits for the Alton River Dragons, while four different players drove home runs and Kyle Athmer went five innings on the mound, striking out eight, as the River Dragons bounced back to earn a split of their two-game series with the Clinton, Iowa LumberKings with a 6-2 win Monday night at NelsonCorp Field in Clinton.
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Alton came back from a 10-0 loss to Clinton on Sunday afternoon to earn a split of the series and now have won four of their first five games of the new Prospect League season.
Dominic Decker got things started on the right foot for the Dragons with a first inning solo homer to give Alton the lead at 1-0, then doubled the lead on an attempted double steal, Eli Hoerner was thrown out at second, but Civic Memorial's Bryer Arview scored on the play to make it 2-0. The LumberKings came back to tie the game in the home half on a RBI triple by Max Holy that scored Gavin Brzozowski and a Connor Giusti double that brought home Holy to tie the game 2-2.
It would be as close as Clinton would get, as the River Dragons scored single runs in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take the game. In the third, Erik Brokemeier of Metro-East Lutheran reached on a dropped third strike that was ruled a wild pitch, scoring Brayden Caskey with the go-ahead run that made it 3-2 for Alton. In the fifth, Caskey came up with a RBI single to score Diego Murillo, then Murillo drew a sixth inning bases loaded walk that forced home Tyler Imbach and in the seventh, Brokemeier grounded to second to bring home Caskey and make the final 6-2.
Pabst led Alton with his three hits, while Arview came up with a pair of hits, Murillo, Caskey, Decker and Brokemeier all had hits and RBIs and Eli Young also had a hit. Athner went five innings to get the win, allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and fanning eight, Scott Detweiler threw three innings, giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three and Collinsville's Jackson Parrill retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win.
The River Dragons are now 4-1 on the year, a game behind the 5-0 Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo., with the two teams set to play each other for the first time this season at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m.
Alton then hosts Clinton on Wednesday in another 6:35 p.m. start, then goes on the road for a three-game series against the expansion Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys Thursday through Saturday, with all games starting at 7 p.m., Alton time.
Alton then meets the Quincy Gems in a two-game series at home June 11-12, the Sunday game starting at 5:35 p.m. and the Monday game beginning at 6:35 p.m.
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