Midland, Mich – Paul Hoenecke belted a two-run home run in the fourth inning and three Great Lakes pitchers combined on a five-hitter as the Loons defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. Great Lakes took three-out-of-four games in the series to start the second half.
The Dragons led 1-0 when Hoenecke came to the plate with a man on first and no one out in the fourth. He fouled off four consecutive 3-2 pitches from Dragons starting pitcher Nick Travieso before connecting on an opposite field home run to left to give the Loons a 2-1 lead. It was Hoenecke’s 10th home run of the season and his fourth against the Dragons.
The Loons closed out the scoring with a single run in the seventh and held the Dragons without a hit over the final three innings of the game.
The Dragons only run came in the first inning. Jon Matthews led off the game with a single to center field. Ronald Bueno’s grounder to third forced Matthews at second. Phillip Ervin drilled a double to the fence in left to move Bueno to third, and a wild pitch brought him in to make it 1-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Dragons had a chance to add to their lead when Joe Hudson opened the inning with a bunt single and Jonathan Reynoso walked. Carlton Daal’s sacrifice moved the runners to second and third. But Gabriel Rosa flied out to short right field. Hudson tagged and started home before stopping and returning to third. But Reynoso was already on his way to third and was trapped before he could return to second. Hudson started back toward the plate and was eventually tagged out to end the threat.
The only other chance for the Dragons came in the sixth when Reynoso and Daal both singled with two outs, but Rosa struck out to end the inning.
The Dragons finished with five hits by five different players. Ervin’s double was the only extra base hit.
Travieso (6-3) was charged with the loss. He worked five innings, allowing six hits and two runs with no walks and four strikeouts.
The Dragons (1-3) do not play on Monday. They open a three-game series on Tuesday at Fort Wayne against the TinCaps (2-2) at 7:05 p.m. Amir Garrett (2-4, 4.30) will start for the Dragons against Walker Weickel (1-8, 5.98). The next home game is Friday, June 27 vs. the Lake County Captains at Fifth Third Field.