BURLINGTON, Ia. - The Alton River Dragons lost both an early 8-0 and later a 9-2 lead as the Burlington, Ia., Bees scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings, tied the game in the ninth, then scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to defeat Alton 10-9 in a Prospect League baseball game played Friday night at Burlington Community Field.
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The Bees swept a two-game series from the River Dragons, who saw their second half record in the Prairie Land Division of the Western Conference fall to 9-16 and their overall mark to 18-33.
The game started off very well for Alton as, in the top of the first, Erik Embroiderer of Metro-East Lutheran stroked a two-run single, then in the second, Eli Hoerner scored on a passed ball to give the River Dragons a 3-0 lead. Alton then extended its advantage to 7-0 in the fourth as Chase Bloomer drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Alex Hagen, Broekemeier hit another two-run single to score both Jake O'Steen and Hoerner and Evan Evola singled home Bloomer. In the top of the fifth, an O'Steen sacrifice fly to left scored Diego Murillo to make the score 8-0 for the River Dragons.
Mason Schwalbach hit a two-run homer over the fence in right, scoring Trent Rice ahead of him to make it 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth, but in the sixth, Civic Memorial's Bryce Zupan singled home Broekemeier to increase the lead to 9-2.
The Bees started their comeback in the seventh with RBI singles by both Caleb Wulf and Ian Wolski and a sacrifice fly by Connor Laeng to cut the Alton lead to 9-5, then in the eighth, Wulf singled and Coy Sarsfield scored on an error by the right fielder to make the score 9-6, which became 9-8 after a two-run single by Jaden Hackbarth. In the ninth, a Schwalbach sacrifice fly to right scored Corey Boyette with the tying run and force extra innings, where in the 10th, Wulf singled home Sarsfield with the winning run as Burlington took the game 10-9 and swept the series.
Broekemeier was one of four Alton players with two hits in the game, driving home four runs, while both Bloomer and Evola each had two hits and a RBI and Hoerner also had two hits, Zupan had a hit and RBI, Murillo came up with a hit and O'Steen had a RBI.
Nolan Wilson was the starting pitcher and worked 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on two hits, walking four and striking out five, while Tyson Greene threw for 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walking five and fanning three, Scott Detweiler threw for 1.2 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits while fanning two and Luke Gasser was tagged with the loss, pitching one inning and giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits.
The River Dragons return home to Lloyd Hopkins Field this weekend for games against the Danville Dans on Saturday at 6:35 p.m., and against the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots on Sunday at 5:35 p.m. Alton begins the final week of the season with a game at the Quincy Gems on Monday at 6:35 p.m., have a day off on Tuesday, then go on the road to play at O'Fallon at CarShield Field Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. After Alton's final off-day of the year, the River Dragons finish the regular season with a home-and-home set against the Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo, playing at home Aug. 4 and end the regular season at Cape on Aug. 5, with both games starting at 6:35 p.m.
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