MIDLAND, Michigan – Great Lakes’ Brandon Trinkwon scored from third base on a throwing error by Dayton second baseman Avain Rachal to break a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and the Loons held on to defeat the Dragons 4-3 on Saturday night. The Loons have won two-of-three in the series to start the second half. The two clubs will wrap up the set on Sunday afternoon.
After the Dragons had scored twice to tie the game in the top of the seventh, Great Lakes broke the tie in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Trinkwon singled to right field to start the rally. The next hitter, Josman Cordero, blooped a soft single to shallow right field. Rachal went out on the grass to get the ball and then fired toward third to try to get Trinkwon. The throw skidded to the fence and allowed Trinkwon to score to give the Great Lakes the lead and close out the scoring.
The Dragons had a chance in the ninth when Daniel Pigott reached on an error with one out and went to second on Tanner Rahier’s single to right. But Rachal struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch and Jonathan Reynoso also went down looking to end the game.
The Loons took the lead in the first inning when Jesmuel Valentin led off the frame with a home run to right field, his fourth of the year. Great Lakes added two more runs in the inning to build a 3-0 lead.
The Dragons started back in the fourth when Phillip Ervin launched a long home run to left-center field. It was his third homer of the year. Then in the seventh, Daniel Pigott walked to start the inning and Tanner Rahier followed with a home run blast to left to tie the game. Rahier’s homer was his sixth of the season and tied the game at 3-3 before Great Lakes regained the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Dragons starter Jackson Stephens, in his first appearance of 2014 as he returned from an elbow injury, tossed four innings while allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned) with one walk and four strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision. Tony Amezcua worked two scoreless innings in relief of Stephens. Scott Brattvet (3-5) worked two innings and allowed the unearned run in the seventh to take the loss.
The Dragons collected seven hits. Rahier had his third straight two-hit game. Reynoso also had two hits.
The Dragons take on the Loons in the last game of the four-game series on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Nick Travieso (6-2, 3.29) will start for the Dragons against Scott Barlow (1-2, 4.35). The Dragons do not play on Monday. They will open a three-game series at Fort Wayne on Tuesday night. The next home game is Friday, June 27 vs. the Lake County Captains at Fifth Third Field.