Dragons Win Streak Snapped
DAYTON -- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored single runs in each of the last three innings to battle back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Dayton Dragons 4-3 on Friday night. The Dayton loss snapped their four-game winning streak and allowed the Hot Rods to avoid a sweep in the three-game series.
The game was tied 3-3 going to the ninth inning when Bowling Green put together a scoring rally against Dayton reliever Brian Hunter. Nick Ciuffo lined a single to right to start the inning and went to third on Grant Kay’s double down the third base line. Bralin Jackson walked to load the bases. Cristian Toribio then hit a ground ball back at Hunter, but the Dayton pitcher lost the handle as he started to throw home and begin a possible double play, and all runners were safe as the go-ahead run scored. Hunter then worked out of the inning with no further damage, but the Dragons were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth by Hot Rods reliever Brian Miller to end the game.
Bowling Green jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Dragons tied the game in the second. With one out, Dayton’s Brian O’Grady singled to right, stole second, and scored on Jimmy Pickens’ double to right to make it 1-1. The Dragons took the lead in the fourth on a two-out, run-scoring single by Narciso Crook to drive in O’Grady. Dayton made it 3-1 in the fifth on Avain Rachal’s RBI single to drive in Gavin LaValley from second.
The Dragons had 10 hits over the first five innings but stranded runners at third in the first, third, and fifth innings while leaving runners at second base in the second and fourth innings. The Dragons did not have a base runner after the fifth as Bowling Green relievers retired all 12 batters they faced.
Bowling Green tied the game in the eighth when Thomas Milone led off the inning with a double off Dragons reliever Scott Brattvet, went to third on a wild pitch, and after a walk to Riley Unroe, scored with one out on Jace Conrad’s fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop to make it 3-3.
The Dragons were led offensively by O’Grady, who went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and Luis Gonzalez, who was 2 for 4 with a triple.
Dragons starting pitcher Tejay Antone pitched extremely well, going five and two-thirds innings and allowing five hits and one run with no walks and three strikeouts. He recorded 11 ground ball outs and left the game with a 3-1 lead. Hunter (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing an unearned run in his only inning of work.
The Dragons (5-4) travel to Lansing, Michigan to take on the Lansing Lugnuts (7-2) in a three-game series starting Saturday at 5:05 p.m. Seth Varner (1-0, 1.80) pitch for Dayton against Lansing’s Conner Greene (0-0, 1.80). The series will continue Sunday at 2:05 and Monday at 12:05 before the Dragons head to Bowling Green, Kentucky for a three-game set. The next home game is Friday, April 24 against the West Michigan Whitecaps.
All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at wone.com. Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app.