CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Prospect League Prairie Land Division regular-season finale between the Alton River Dragons and the Cape Catfish, scheduled for Saturday night at Capaha Filed in Cape Girardeau Mo., was rained out and cancelled.
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The cancellation of the game was the third in the last two weeks of the season for the River Dragons, having had a game against the Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion on July 24 cancelled due to the death of Thrillbillies player Ashton Smith and another game against the Danville Dans cancelled due to rain on July 29.
The cancellation meant that Alton finishes the second half of the league's split season in fourth place of the division with a record of 11-18, a full game behind the third-place O'Fallon, Mo., Hoots, tied in the loss column but O'Fallon having won two more games that the River Dragons. It also made the team's final overall record 20-35, also in fourth place in the division.
Alton got off to a good start in the first half, winning four of their first five games, including the first three in a row. The River Dragons then had a five-game losing streak, dropping six of their next seven games. The team never recovered and ended the first half in fifth place in the division with a 9-17 record, 13 games behind the Catfish, who finished first in the first-half standings.
Alton improved somewhat in the second half, going 11-16, but lost their field manager on July 20, when Scotty Scott was replaced by General Manager Dallas Martz for the remainder of the season.
Erik Broekemeier of Metro-East Lutheran was the oftentimes the team's best hitter, and ended the season hitting .298 with a team-leading 10 home runs and 58 RBIs. Drake Westcott of Edwardsville signed late in the season for Alton and hit .385 with two homers and 15 RBIs, while former Civic Memorial player Bryce Zupan hit .231 with one homer and 15 RBIs and former CM teammate Bryar Arview hit .226 with one homer and 16 RBIs.
Dimitri Ivetic went 1-1 on the mound, recording three saves and having a 2.93 ERA, while Collinsville product Jackson Parrill ended up with a record of 3-4 with one save and a ERA of 6.75. Scott Detweiler led the team in wins with four, having a 4-2 mark with a 5.50 ERA.
The Prospect League playoffs start on Sunday, with a one-game playoff between the second-half champions and the first-half winners playing for the division championship, the winners advancing to a one-game playoff for the conference championship. The Eastern and Western Conference winners then play each other in the Prospect League Championship Series, which is a best-of-three set to determine the league champions. In 2022, the River Dragons lost to the Chillicothe, Ohio, Paints in three close games as the Paints won the league championship.
The Paints are back to defend the title. stating off on Sunday against the Champion City Kings of Springfield, Ohio, in the Ohio River Valley final at Chillicothe, starting at 5:05 p..m., while Danville host the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes in the Wabash River division final at 4:30 p.m. The two winners will play in the Eastern Conference final later that week. In the Western Conference, the Catfish host the Thrillbillies at Capaha Field in the Prairie Land Division final, starting at 6:35 p.m. In the Great River Division final, the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings host the Quincy Gems, with the first pitch coming at 2 p.m. The Thrillbiillies-Catfish winner meet the Gems-LumberKings winner in the Western Conference final, with the day, sites and times to be announced.
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