Dragons Fall 8-3 in Home Opener Sunday
Dayton, Ohio—The South Bend Cubs broke open a one-run game by scoring four times in the seventh inning on the way to an 8-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The game was the annual home opener for the Dragons as a crowd of 9,027 attended at Fifth Third Field.
South Bend got the scoring started with three runs in the top of the third inning, keyed by a run-scoring triple by Trey Martin. The Dragons answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. Jimmy Pickens led off the Dayton half of the inning with a single to left-center field and eventually scored on Garrett Boulware’s double to left. Boulware went to third on an infield single by Ronald Bueno and scored on an error. After Gavin LaValley’s hard single to left loaded the bases, Bueno scored on Brian O’Grady’s ground out to tie the game at 3-3.
South Bend scored an unearned run in the fifth before breaking the game open with four runs in the seventh against Dragons reliever Jeremy Kivel. Five of the first six batters in the inning collected singles to bring in two runs before back-to-back bases loaded walks forced in two more as South Bend took an 8-3 lead and closed out the scoring.
Dragons starter Tejay Antone (0-1) pitched well with the exception of the three-run third inning but suffered the loss. He worked five innings, allowing four hits and four runs (three earned) with three walks and six strikeouts.
Brennan Bernardino replaced Antone and worked a perfect sixth inning. Kivel pitched the seventh, allowing five hits and four runs with two walks and two strikeouts. Brian Hunter tossed the final two innings, allowing two hits and two walks but no runs with three strikeouts.
The Dragons collected seven hits, matching their number for each of their three previous games on the year. Pickens was 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Boulware’s double was the only Dragons extra base hit.
The Dragons fell to 1-3 on the year while South Bend improved to 3-1. The two teams will meet again on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in the second game of the series. Batavia, Ohio native Seth Varner will make his first start for the Dragons while South Bend will counter with Trevor Clifton. The series will conclude on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.