DAYTON, Ohio – A four-run bottom of the ninth inning and walk-off double propelled the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds affiliate) to a 5-4 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Day Air Ballpark on Tuesday night in the series opener.
The TinCaps (16-20) opened the scoring in the top of the third inning by stringing their hits together. After a lead-off double from third baseman Kelvin Melean, catcher Jonny Homza singled, and second baseman Reinaldo Ilarraza plated Melean with an RBI single to right field. Moments later, Ilarraza stole second base, and the throw down from Dragons catcher Eric Yang bounced into center field, allowing Homza to score on the error.
Dayton and Fort Wayne traded blows soon after. In the fourth, Dragons first baseman Juan Martinez hit a solo home run to left center to get Dayton on the board. A half-inning later, TinCaps center fielder Jawuan Harris reached on a lead-off walk, stole his 10th base of the year, and was driven in by Homza on a bouncing single up the middle for the catcher’s second hit of the night. Homza’s 22nd RBI on the year made it a 3-1 advantage for Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne added one more in the eighth on an RBI single from first baseman Seamus Curran.
Dayton, however, has had a flare for the dramatic this season. In the bottom of the ninth, a single and a fielding error plated a run for the Dragons to cut the TinCaps lead to 4-2. Dayton center fielder Michael Siani then followed with another run-producing single, trimming the deficit to one. After two more Dragons reached base, nine-hitter and right fielder Raniel Ozuna delivered the final blow, blasting a walk-off two-run double to right-center field.
TinCaps starter Ethan Elliott was phenomenal on Tuesday. He equaled a season-long six innings pitched, allowed just five hits, one earned run, and struck out five Dragons. Elliott lowered his already league-low 2.02 ERA coming into the start to 1.94 by the night’s end.
Next Game: Wednesday, June 16 at Dayton (7:05 p.m.)
· – Fort Wayne Probable Starter: RHP Matt Waldron
· – Dayton Probable Starter: RHP Noah Davis
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