First Responders Night at CarShield Field saw fireworks during and after the game for the O’Fallon crowd. The Hoots fell behind 8-0 in the second inning, but battled back to tack on four runs in the third and sixth innings, respectively. The Hoots tied the ball game in the 7th inning, before falling behind in the eighth.
In the third inning, the bottom of the Hoots order created some havoc for the River Dragons. Gavin Bennett, the starting Catcher, led off the inning with a single. Alex Adams continued his strong play in the batter’s box by hitting a double. After Zak Hartleb earned a base on balls, Noah Jouras and Will Doherty each batted in a run in their second plate appearance against Alton starting pitcher Justin Needles.
Jack Jones was the first man to come out of the bullpen for the Hoots, and he looked sharp. Working from the third to sixth innings, Jones mixed high-velocity fastballs with great movement off-speed pitches to attack the River Dragons lineup. Jones recorded four strikeouts during his outing.
The Hoots lineup went down quietly in the fourth and fifth innings against Justin Needles, but did damage just before he left the ball game in the sixth. Jacob Hager led off the inning with a walk, and then Noah Fisher hit a ball off the top of the wall in left center field. After the ball nearly got out from Fisher, the next hitter was Connor Milton who blasted a two-run home run into the left field bleachers. The Hoots tacked on one more run in the sixth following a pair of base hits from Gavin Bennett and Alex Adams.
The third single of the ballgame for Bennett brought the crowd at CarShield Field into a frenzy. The two-run base knock tied things up at 10 in the seventh inning. However, in the eighth, the River Dragons regained the lead following a fielder’s choice where the Hoots couldn’t complete a double play.
The Hoots will be in action next on Saturday in Cape to take on the Catfish. Their next home game will be Sunday, June 4th against the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes at 6:35 pm.