CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — For his team’s next-to-last game of the 2021 season, Alton River Dragons manager Darrell Handelsman put a slightly different lineup on the field.

With the Dragons out of the playoff chase, Handelsman switched pitchers and hitters in the lineup. The result was a trip to the 13-run pool.

Final score: Cape Girardeau 13, Alton 0 in seven innings in front of 727 fans at Capaha Field.

The starting lineup included Adam Stilts at shortstop leading off, Brandon Hampton in left field, Parker Johnson in center field, Geoff withers at third base, Matthew Reed at second base, Justin Needles at first base, Tyler Bell at catcher, Alec Nigut pitching and Drew Patterson in right field.

All the Tuesday night starters are normally pitchers. That is, except for the starting pitcher, Nigut, who’s usually an outfielder.

“It should be fun,” River Dragons general manager Dallas Martz opined in a Facebook post prior to the game.

The Catfish jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning, added five runs in the second and were ahead 10-0 after three innings. Three Cape Girardeau runs in the fifth accounted for the final score.

The River Dragons’ pitcher-dominated lineup managed five hits.Stilts, Hampton, Johnson, Reed and Nigut each had singles. The Catfish had 14 hits, including a home run by Kolten Poorman.

Alton left seven base runners stranded, while the Catfish left nine on base.

Nigut was the losing pitcher for Alton. he lasted two-third of an inning,s truck out two, walked three and allowed a hit and two earned runs – one more than the Catfish would need, as it turned out.

Following Nigut, River Dragons who took a stint on the mound included regular infielder Zach Carden, outfielder Josh Johnson, outfielder Blake Burris, infielder Clayton Dean and infielder David Harris.

The loss dropped Alton to 26-32 on the season and Cape Girardeau to 38-21.

The final game of the River Dragons’ first season is set for 6:35 p.m. Wednesday against the O’Fallon Hoots at CarShield Field in O’Fallon, Missouri.

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