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ALTON - R.J LaRocco delivered a single to right that scored Diego Murillo with the winning run that gave the Alton River Dragons their third straight win to open the Prospects League season with a 5-4 triumph over the O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots in a game played Saturday evening at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park.

The win puts Alton into a tie for first place with the undefeated Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo, a half-game ahead of the Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion in the early first-half standings. The Hoots are now 0-3 on the year, three games out of first and a half-game better than the 0-4 Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillies.

O'Fallon went ahead in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly by Michael Long, which scored Nick Harms with the first run of the game. The River Dragons came back to tie the game in the third on a RBI single by Dominic Decker that scored Murillo to draw Alton level at 1-1. The Hoots took the lead back in the fourth on a Long RBI single, scoring Chase Beattie, but in the home half, a Victor Heredia sacrifice fly to center scored Brayden Caskey to tie the game at 2-2.

Long doubled home Harms in the top of the seventh to give O'Fallon the lead back, then a sacrifice fly by John Stallcup scored Long to make it 4-2 for the Hoots. The River Dragons tied it up in the eighth when a double by Tyler Imbach scored both Eli Hoerner and Decker to give Alton a 4-4 tie, then the Dragons won it on LaRocco's walk-off single.

Decker had three hits and a RBI for Alton, while Caskey came up with a pair of hits, Imbach had a hit and two RBIs, LaRocco's game-winner was his only hit and RBI, Eli Young and Erik Brokemeier from Metro-East Lutheran, along with Murillo, also had hits and Heredia had a RBI.

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J.T. Miler started on the mound and went 3.1 innings, allowing two runs without a hit, walking two and striking out one, Alex Rodriguez threw 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits, walking two and fanning seven and Evan Gray picked up the win in relief, going two innings, allowing a hit while walking one and striking out three.


CLINTON, IOWA - The Clinton, Ia., LumberKings scored four runs in both the third and sixth innings as they dealt the Alton River Dragons their first loss of the Prospect League season in a 10-0 win Sunday afternoon at NelsonCorp Field in Clinton.

The River Dragons were limited to seven hits in the game, while five errors led to five unearned run for Clinton, who had three RBIs from Max Holy and two RBIs each from Trevor Burkhart and Gavin Brzozowski.

The LumberKings scored a single run in the first and fourth to go along with their four run third and sixth innings in taking a 10-run rule win over Alton.

Diego Murillo and Civic Memorial's Bryce Zupan had two hits each for the River Dragons, while R.J. LaRocco, Brayden Caskey and A.J. Pabst had the other hits. Aiden Joaquin started on the mound and was also charged with the loss, going three innings, giving up five runs, none earned, on three hits, walking three and striking out three. Colin Hawkins threw two innings, allowing a run on a hit, walking three and fanning one, Lucas Johns pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and walked three and Scott Detweiler threw the final third of the inning, fanning one.

Alton is now 3-1 on the season, in second place behind the 4-0 Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and play against the LumberKings in the second game of their series Monday night at 6:30 p.m., then return home to Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore Park to meet the Catfish for the first time this season Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m.

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