Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) Joey Curletta scored from second base on a throwing error in the 11th inning as the Great Lakes Loons defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field. The Dayton loss kept them in second place, one-half game behind South Bend.
The winning Loons rally began when Joey Curletta walked to start the inning against Dayton reliever Evan Mitchell (1-3). Josmar Cordero blooped a single to right field to move Curletta to second. After Jacob Scavuzzo flied out to shallow right field, Webster Rivas hit a ground ball to the right side. Dayton first baseman Sammy Diaz made a tremendous diving stop and fired to second base for the out on Cordero, but the return throw to first by Dragons shortstop Carlton Daal bounced past Mitchell covering the base and allowed Curletta to score the eventual winning run. The Dragons were retired in order in the bottom of the 11th.
Great Lakes got the scoring started in the top of the fourth inning when Cordero belted a solo home run to left field, his first of the season. The Dragons took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jamodrick McGruder got the inning started with a single to right and raced around to third on Sammy Diaz’s check-swing double down the third base line. After Phillip Ervin grounded out to third, Sebastian Elizalde lined a single to right, scoring both McGruder and Diaz to make it 2-1. But Cordero drilled his second homer of the game to lead off the seventh inning for Great Lakes to knot the score at 2-2.
The Dragons nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs and runners at first and second, Daal lined a single to right field. Curletta, the Great Lakes right fielder, charged the ball and fired a strike to the plate, where Spencer Navin took the throw and tagged out Elizalde trying to score from second to send the game to extra innings.
Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett worked the first six innings and pitched extremely well, allowing three hits and one run with two walks and three strikeouts. It was Garrett’s best outing of the season but he came away with no decision.
The Dragons finished with 11 hits. For the third straight game, a Dayton player finished a home run short of the cycle. Sammy Diaz had a single, double, and triple after McGruder did the same on Monday and Ervin did it on Sunday. Elizalde, McGruder, and Daal all had two hits. Tanner Rahier had one hit to extend his hitting streak to nine straight games.
The Dragons host the Loons again on Wednesday in the rubber match of the series at Fifth Third Field at 7:00 p.m. Nick Travieso (5-1, 1.58) will start for the Dragons while Great Lakes will counter with Greg Harris (3-4, 6.82).