Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) Wynton Bernard had two hits including a home run to lead the West Michigan Whitecaps to a 7-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Friday night before a crowd of 8,143 at Fifth Third Field.
The Whitecaps built a 5-0 lead over the first six and one-half innings before the Dragons scored two in the seventh and two more in the eighth to pull to within one run at 5-4. But West Michigan added two unearned runs in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring.
Bernard hit the second pitch of the game over the left field fence to give the Whitecaps an early lead. It was his fifth homer of the year. West Michigan took advantage of two Dragons errors on the same play in the second to add a run and lead 2-0.
The Dragons did not have a hit until Jon Matthews and Carlton Daal delivered back-to-back singles to start the fourth, but West Michigan starting pitcher Buck Farmer (9-5) worked out of trouble in the inning. Farmer left after six scoreless innings, allowing just the two base runners over his outing. He struck out four.
Dragons starter Sal Romano (5-9) battled through six innings, allowing nine hits, but surrendered just the two runs over the first two innings, and one of the runs was unearned. He walked two and struck out five. West Michigan scored three runs against Dragons reliever Joel Bender in the seventh to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Dragons mounted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Phillip Ervin singled with one out and scored on Daniel Pigott’s double to the gap in left-center. Pigott scored on a two-out single by Joe Hudson to make it 5-2. Then in the eighth, the Dragons added two more runs. Jonathan Reynoso doubled to start the inning and eventually scored from third on Jon Matthews’ infield single. With two outs, Ervin ripped a double down the left field line to bring in another run and make it 5-4, but with the tying run at second, Pigott struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, West Michigan again took advantage of two Dragons errors on the same play to score two unearned runs and extend their lead to 7-4. The Dragons were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth.
The Dragons finished with eight hits including five over the seventh and eighth innings. Matthews and Ervin each had two.