Grand Rapids, Mich. (WDTN) —Ross Kivet scored from second base on a stolen base and wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning as the West Michigan Whitecaps came from behind to defeat the Dayton Dragons 3-2 on Friday night. The loss was the third straight for the Dragons and came in the opener to a four-game series.
The Dragons scored two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 2-0 lead before West Michigan answered with single runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the 10th, Derek Hill reached on an infield single to start the inning and went to second on a balk by Dragons reliever Joe Mantoni. Will Kengor struck out for the first out, and Hill was out trying to advance to third on Ross Kivett’s grounder to shortstop, leaving Kivett at first with two outs. With the league’s leading hitter, Mike Gerber at the plate, Kivett stole second. Kivett broke for third on a 2-2 pitch, and when the pitch bounced in the dirt and went to the backstop, Kivett raced around third. Dragons catcher Garrett Boulware picked up the ball and fired to the plate where Mantoni was covering, but Kivett beat the throw to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Mark Armstrong pitched extremely well and was not involved in the decision. He left the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and the Dragons leading 2-0. In six and two-thirds innings, he allowed three hits and was charged with one run with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Dragons took the lead in the seventh when Ronald Bueno singled to start the inning, and Luis Gonzalez’s sacrifice moved Bueno to second. After Bueno went to third on a wild pitch, Brian O’Grady singled over a drawn-in infield to bring in the first run of the game. Two batters later, Boulware’s two-out single brought in O’Grady from second to make it 2-0.
West Michigan scored in the second on a bases-loaded, two-out walk, and tied the game in the eighth on Hill’s run-scoring single against Dragons closer Brian Hunter.
The Dragons finished with six hits. O’Grady had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 15 straight games, five short of the club record.
The Dragons fell to 22-20 with the loss. They remained two games out of first place.
The Dragons battle the Whitecaps again on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of the four-game series. Tyler Mahle (3-3, 3.28) will start for Dayton against West Michigan’s Ross Seaton (5-1, 2.72).
The next home game for the Dragons is Tuesday, May 26 when they host the South Bend Cubs at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. The game will mark the start of a seven-game homestand for the Dragons.
All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE and on the internet at wone.com. Games are also available on the Dayton Dragons mobile app