Dragons fall at Wisconsin in 11

Appleton, Wisc – Jose Pena’s line drive single to right field brought in Rafael Neda from third base with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Dayton Dragons 5-4 on Monday afternoon. The Timber Rattlers took two-out-of-three in the series.

The Wisconsin win spoiled an eighth inning comeback effort by the Dragons. Trailing 2-1 in the top of the eighth, Dayton’s Gabriel Rosa drilled a three-run home run to left field to give the Dragons a 4-2 lead. But Wisconsin came back to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth and the game eventually went to extra innings.

Rosa’s homer touched off a bench-clearing incident moments later. Wisconsin reliever Tyler Alexander, who surrendered the home run to Rosa, hit Dayton’s Jonathan Reynoso with the next pitch. When Reynoso took several steps toward the mound, Alexander flipped off his glove and began walking toward Reynoso. Both benches and both bullpens cleared, but there was no apparent physical contact between opposing teams. Alexander and Reynoso were both ejected along with Dayton catcher Jose Ortiz and Wisconsin first baseman David Denson.

The ejection of Reynoso forced the Dragons to shuffle their defense and had an impact on the game. Without any available outfielders to replace Reynoso, Dayton second baseman Jamodrick McGruder was forced to move to left field, a position he had played for only two innings this season. The Timber Rattlers eventually tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Steven Halcolm’s two-out fly ball to the fence in left that McGruder was unable to catch. The play was ruled an RBI double for Halcolm.

Wisconsin took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before the Dragons tied the game in the fifth on McGruder’s two-out, run-scoring single. Wisconsin regained the lead with a run in the sixth, and the score remained 2-1 until Rosa’s homer in the eighth.

Dragons starting pitcher Amir Garrett pitched well but was not involved in the decision. He worked six innings and allowed four hits and two runs with three walks and seven strikeouts. The loss was charged to Dragons reliever Scott Brattvet (3-6), who pitched the 11th inning.

Wisconsin’s winning rally started with a walk to Neda.   Dustin DeMuth’s sacrifice moved Neda to second, and he advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Pena’s one-out single to end the game.

The Dragons finished with seven hits. Rosa was 2 for 4 to lead the attack.

The Dayton went 4-2 on their six-game road trip, winning the first four games.

The Dragons (14-16) do not play on Tuesday. They will open a three-game series at Fifth Third Field against the Quad Cities River Bandits (15-15) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.   Sal Romano (6-9, 3.96) will start the game for the Dragons against Quad Cities’ Kevin Comer (1-2, 4.50).

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