SPRINGFIELD — The inaugural home game of the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes certainly did not disappoint from an entertainment standpoint.
The ‘Shoes (1-3) lost a 6-5 heartbreaker as the Alton River Dragons (4-0) remain the lone undefeated team in the Prospect League. This was the second time these teams have met early in the 2022 season.
The River Dragons scored six runs despite only notching three total hits.
The first few innings featured lockdown pitching from pitchers toeing the rubber for the first time this season, in ‘Shoes starter Gavin Bergman, and the River Dragons’ Collin Salter. The scoring was started by ‘Shoes first baseman Dylan Nevar, who broke out of an early season slump with an RBI single in the bottom of the third to make it 1-0.
River Dragons’ third baseman Kurtis Reid scored on a passed ball to tie the contest up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.
Corbin Bassham put the ‘Shoes back in front in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single scoring Joe Kolbeck.
The pitching woes started in the fifth inning, where a wild pitch by ‘Shoes reliever Evan Long threw back to back wild pitches, scoring Robby Taul.
Four straight walks from Long added a run in the sixth inning. Two RBI groundouts and a sacrifice bunt unloaded the bases, put the River Dragons in front 6-2 heading into the latter half of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the postgame fireworks got an early start, with Jayden Myren blasting his first home run of the season, scoring 3 runs and cutting the deficit to 6-5
There is no smoking on stadium grounds, but the leather certainly was on Saturday Night. ‘Shoes shortstop Jake Curtis and first baseman Johnny Colombo made huge plays all over the diamond to limit the damage.
Bryant Byrd and Christopher Gory kept the River Dragons at bay for the rest of the game, but the offense failed to come through.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Dylan Nevar scorched a line drive to center, right at Gage Mestas to end the rally.
The ‘Shoes once again loaded the bases against Hunter Callahan in the 9th inning with one out, but reliever Matthew Romero induced a line drive double play at second base.
Carson Richardson (1-0) notches his first win of the season for the River Dragons despite allowing four runs, and Matthew Romero gets his first save of 2022.
Evan Long (0-1) took the loss, the five walks hurting his resume.
The Lucky Horseshoes will make their second trip to O’Fallon on Sunday to take on the Hoots (1-3).