ALTON - The Cape Catfish of Cape Girardeau, Mo. scored seven runs in the fourth inning, four more in the fifth and three times in the sixth en route to a big 15-5 win over the Alton River Dragons in the first meeting of the new Prospect League season between the two teams Tuesday night at Lloyd Hopkins Field inside Gordon Moore Park.
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The Catfish remain undefeated in the early going of the season and are now at 6-0, while the River Dragons fall to 4-2 and two games behind Cape in the first-half standings of the Prairie Land Division in the Western Conference.
The two teams traded runs in the third, with the Catfish getting an RBI triple from Justin Carinci to go ahead 1-0 and R.J. LoRocco tying the game for Alton with a home run over the left field fence to make it 1-1.
Cape then went off on its seven-run fourth, starting with a two-run homer over the left field fence by Hayden Nazarenus, scoring Kaden Jeffries ahead of him, to make it 3-1. A Landon Godsey sacrifice fly scored another run, after which Carinci reached on a fielder's choice as Jeff Clarke was forced at second and Curry Sutherland scored to make it 5-1. Chris Hall then stole home to make it 6-1, with Carinci going to third on an error by the shortstop and a RBI single by Brody Chrisman and a bases loaded walk to Kevin McCarthy scored the final two runs of the inning to make it 8-1 for the Catfish.
In the bottom of the fourth, LoRocco was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing in Erik Brokemeier of Metro-East Lutheran to make the score 8-2, but Chrisman hit a grand slam homer in the top of the fifth to increase the Cape lead to 12-2.
An RBI double by Brokemeier scored Diego Murillo and an RBI ground out to third by A.J. Pabst cut the lead to 12-4 after the fifth inning and in the top of the sixth, Carinci reached on an error that allowed two runs to score and Jeffries was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 15-4. An RBI infield single by Murillo brought in LoRocco with the final run as the Catfish won 15-5 in eight innings, the game terminated by the 10-run rule.
LoRocco had two hits and two RBIs for the River Dragons, while Murillo had two hits and a RBI, Brokemeier came up with a hit and RBI, Civic Memorial's Bryer Arview, Dominic Decker and Mattais Sessing all had hits and Pabst also drove in a run.
Alex Renfrow started on the mound for Alton and took the loss, going 3.2 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits while striking out one, Colin Hawkins went for one-third of an inning, allowing one run on one hit while walking two, Carson Richardson pitched one inning and gave up four runs on three hits, fanning one, Lucas Johns threw for an inning, allowing three runs, none earned, on a hit, walking two and striking out two and Victor Heredia also pitched one inning, allowing a hit and fanning one.
The River Dragons remain at home on Wednesday, meeting the Clinton, Ia., LumberKings in a 6:35 p.m. start, then go on the road for a three-game series Thursday through Saturday at the Jackson, Tenn., Rockabillys, with all games starting at 7 p.m., Alton time and return home for a two game set Sunday and Monday against the Quincy Gems, with the first game starting at 5:35 p.m. and the second game starting at 6:35 p.m.
After an off day on June 13, the River Dragons continue their home stand with a game against Jackson on June 14, host the Thrillville Thrillbillies of Marion June 15, then meet up with the Terre Haute, Ind., REX on June 16 and conclude the home stand June 17 against the Rockabillys, with all games starting at 6:35 p.m.
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