DAYTON, Ohio – Sebastian Elizalde’s sacrifice fly to deep center field brought in Jeff Gelalich from third base with the winning run in the 11th inning as the Dayton Dragons came from behind to defeat the Clinton Lumber Kings 3-2 on Wednesday night. The Dragons won their seventh straight game and completed a sweep of the three-game set with Clinton.
The Dragons 9-3 start to the season is the club’s second best record after 12 games in franchise history. The 2007 Dragons, featuring Chris Heisey, Drew Stubbs, Chris Valaika, and Juan Francisco among others, opened the year by going 10-2.
The game-winning rally began when Gelalich reached on an error and then stole second. He advanced to third on Phillip Ervin’s infield single. Elizalde made solid contact, driving a fly ball to deep center field that was easily able to score Gelalich to win the game.
The Dragons trailed 2-0 going to the bottom of the ninth inning but rallied to send the game to extra innings. Sammy Diaz led off the inning with a single to left and Carlton Daal walked. Beau Amaral sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Gelalich singled to left to bring in Diaz and Daal to make it 2-2.
Clinton starting pitcher Eddie Campbell allowed just one hit over six shutout innings as the Lumber Kings built a 2-0 lead. Clinton broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning when Jeff Zimmerman singled through the left side of the infield to bring in Arby Fields from third with one out. They added another run in the seventh on Lonnie Kaupilla’s two-out RBI single to right to make it 2-0.
The Dragons did not have a hit until the bottom of the sixth inning when Carlton Daal lined a sharp single to right field with two outs.
Dragons starting pitcher Ismael Guillon worked the first five and one-third innings, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Reliever Layne Somsen (1-0) earned the win, going one and one-third innings of scoreless baseball.
The Dragons finished with five hits. Daal had two singles and a walk.
The Dragons open a new three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the Kane County Cougars (10-3), affiliates of the Chicago Cubs, on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. (EDT). Like the Dragons, the Cougars will begin the series with a seven-game winning streak. Amir Garrett (0-1, 3.60) will start for Dayton against Kane County’s Daury Torrez (1-0, 4.35).