Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) —Great Lakes starting pitcher Grant Holmes and two relievers combined on a two-hitter as the Loons defeated the Dayton Dragons 7-1 on Wednesday night. A crowd of 8,579 attended the game at Fifth Third Field.
Holmes (3-0), the Dodgers’ first round draft pick in 2014 as an 18-year-old high school prospect from Conway, South Carolina, worked six shutout innings, allowing only two walks and a second inning single to Paul Kronenfeld while striking out nine to earn the win.
It was a rough night defensively for the Dragons as they committed five errors including three in the fourth inning leading to three unearned runs. The Loons took a 3-0 lead in the fourth and made it 5-0 in the seventh. The Dragons scored their only run in the eighth when Ronald Bueno’s sacrifice fly brought in Jonathan Reynoso from third to make it 5-1. Great Lakes closed out the scoring with two runs in the ninth.
The Dragons fell to 22-18 with the loss. They dropped into a tie with Lake County for third place, two games behind first place Bowling Green and one game behind second place Lansing. Those three clubs all won on Wednesday. Great Lakes improved to 17-20 with the win.
Dragons starting pitcher Tejay Antone (3-3) did not allow an earned run but was charged with the loss. He worked six innings, allowing five hits and three unearned runs with one walk and five strikeouts.
The game featured several unusual moments. In the third inning, Great Lakes’ Alex Verdugo appeared to score from second on an apparent double by Josmar Cordero, but Verdugo was called out for missing third base, erasing the run from the scoreboard. In the fifth, Dragons pitching coach Tom Browning was ejected after arguing a balk call. After the third out in the top of the fifth, players on opposing teams became involved in a heated argument, apparently related to the belief that the Loons’ Mike Ahmed, as a base runner at second, was relaying catcher Jose Ortiz’s signs to Antone on to the hitter.
The Dragons and Loons have been matched in head-to-head meetings in 10 of the last 19 games since May 1, allowing some hard feelings to build. Wednesday’s activities came after the Dragons were angered on Tuesday when Ortiz was hit by a pitch after belting a three-run home run earlier in the game.
The Dragons will battle the Loons in the series finale on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Seth Varner (4-2, 3.05) will start for Dayton against Great Lakes’ Travis Oaks (2-4, 4.32).