DAYTON, Ohio – Jon Matthews delivered a two-out single to center field to drive in Daniel Pigott from second base with the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Dayton Dragons a “walk-off” win on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field. The Father’s Day crowd of 8,982 saw the Dragons third walk-off win of the season in the final game of the first half.
The game was tied at 2-2 after Lake County scored in the fifth inning, and neither keep could mount any offense over the next several innings. Lake County had only one hit after the fifth, and the Dragons did not have a hit after the sixth until Matthews’ game-winner.
The winning rally started ironically when Phillip Ervin reached on catcher’s interference to start the bottom of the 11th. Pigott’s ground ball to shortstop forced Ervin at second with Pigott safe at first. Pigott went to second when Avain Rachal grounded out to third. Matthews ran the count to 3-2 before lining one through the middle into center field. Pigott easily beat the throw to the plate to end the game.
It was a good day for the Dragons bullpen as all four pitchers who worked in the game were normal relievers. Layne Somsen got a spot-start and worked the first four innings, allowing one run on four hits. Ryan Kemp tossed three innings, surrendering one run on two hits. Alejandro Chacin tossed three innings without giving up a hit or run. Nolan Becker (1-0) was credited with the win, going one scoreless inning and giving up one hit.
The Dragons held a brief lead early in the game. After Lake County’s Clint Frazier homered in the top of the third, Dayton’s Brandon Dailey answered with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. It was Dailey’s third of the year. In the same inning, Carlton Daal reached on an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a bad pick-off throw, and scored on a two-out single by Jeff Gelalich to make it 2-1. The Captains tied the game in the fifth.
The Dragons finished with six hits by six different players. Dailey’s home run was the only extra base hit.
The Dragons finished the first half in third place in the eight-team Eastern Division with a record of 36-32. Four Dragons players, Carlton Daal, Ismael Guillon, Nick Travieso, and Sal Romano, will play in the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Comstock Park, Michigan. The Dragons will open the second half on Thursday night in Midland, Michigan against the Great Lakes Loons. The game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as the start to a seven-game road trip.
Notes: The victory was the Dragons third walk-off win of the year and their first since April 19…The Dragons went 4-2 on their final home stand of the half.