Rachal, Varner Lead Dragons to 6-1 Win
Dayton -— Avain Rachal collected three hits and drove in two runs and starting pitcher Seth Varner fired five strong innings as the Dayton Dragons defeated the South Bend Cubs 6-1 on Monday night. The Dragons improved their record to 2-3 on the year while South Bend fell to 3-2. A crowd of 7,886 saw the Dragons second home game of the season.
Rachal became the first Dragons player this season to enjoy a three-hit game as he delivered singles in each of his first three plate appearances. Rachal paced a 10-hit Dragons attack.
After South Bend scored a run in the top of the first inning, the Dragons answered with a three-run bottom of the first. Ty Washington walked to start the inning, stole second, went to third on an error, and scored on Luis Gonzalez’s single to short center field to tie the game at 1-1. After a pair of walks to Gavin LaValley and Brian O’Grady, Rachal delivered a hard single to left to drive in Gonzalez and LaValley and make it 3-1.
The Dragons tacked on single runs in the third, sixth, and eighth innings to extend their lead. Rachal singled with two outs in the third, went to second on an error, and scored on Garrett Boulware’s run-scoring single to center. In the sixth, Narciso Crook doubled to left field with one out, and Washington followed with a hit to right to drive him in and make it 5-1. Jimmy Pickens led off the eighth with a double to right-center, advanced to third on Boulware’s fly out to right, and scored on Crook’s sacrifice fly to right with a great slid as he got his hand to the plate just before the tag.
The Dragons 10 hit attack was led by Rachal’s three-hit night. Washington had two hits and drove in a run.
Varner (1-0) went the first five innings, allowing six hits and one run with no walks and six strikeouts to earn the win. Alejandro Chacin followed Varner to the mound and worked a scoreless sixth inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout. Scott Brattvet, who was added to the Dayton roster just prior to the game, tossed the seventh and the eighth, getting double plays in each inning. He allowed a hit and a walk but no runs. Conor Krauss pitched a perfect ninth inning to close it out.
The Dragons and Cubs will meet again in the rubber match of the series on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Right-hander Mark Armstrong will start for the Dragons while South Bend will counter with Ryan Williams. Following Tuesday’s game, the Bowling Green Hot Rods will visit Fifth Third Field for a three-game series starting Wednesday.