EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Lake County Captains scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to overcome an 8-6 deficit and defeat the Dayton Dragons 9-8 on Friday night. The loss was the Dragons fourth straight as they dropped the opener to a three-game series.
The Dragons took the lead twice in the late innings, only to see Lake County battle back. The Dragons scored three runs in the eighth to lead 6-5 before Lake County tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch. The run scored on a close play and the safe call by the home plate umpire led to an argument and the eventual ejection of the Dragons manager Jose Nieves.
The Dragons then scored two runs in the top of the 10tth inning to take an 8-6 lead, but Lake County won the game with three in the bottom of the inning. They tied the game on an RBI triple with two outs by Brian Ruiz and won it on an infield single by Clint Frazier to score Ruiz.
Dayton’s Julio Morillo had two big hits late in the game. In the eighth, his two-out, two-run single tied the game at 5-5 before Carlton Daal delivered a run-scoring single to give the Dragons the lead. In the top of the 10th, Morillo broke the 6-6 tie with a run-scoring single.
The Dragons score three runs in the second inning to take an early lead. Phillip Ervin doubled to right to start the inning and Avain Rachal reached on an error, moving Ervin to third. Tanner Rahier grounded into a double play to bring in Ervin and put the Dragons in front, 1-0. Daniel Mateo restarted the rally with a single to center field and Morillo had an infield single. Daal blooped a hit to right to bring in Mateo and make it 2-0, and Jamodrick McGruder dropped a single into left to drive in Morillo and give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
But Lake County responded with two runs in the third and two more in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Claudio Bautista’s two-out, two-run double in third made it 3-2. Anthony Santander and Josh McAdams had run-scoring singles in the fourth as the Captains jumped ahead. They added another run in the seventh to go ahead 5-3.
Dragons starting pitcher Sal Romano worked the first six innings. He allowed nine hits and four runs with one walk and nine strikeouts. Joel Bender tossed the seventh and allowed two hits and one run with two strikeouts. Ryan Kemp replaced Bender and worked two innings, allowing one run. Scott Brattvet (2-1) came in to pitch the 10th and allowed three hits, three runs, and took the loss, also suffering his first blown save of the year after converting his first four opportunities.
The Dragons improved to 17-10 with the win. They remain in first place, one and one-half games ahead of three teams who are tied for second.
The Dragons battle the Captains again on Saturday in the second game of the series at 1:00 p.m. Aroldis Chapman (0-0, 0.00) will start for Dayton and be followed by Ismael Guillon (2-0, 1.59). Lake County will counter with Adam Plutko (1-0, 4.43).