Dragons fall to Whitecaps on Saturday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Will Maddox collected three hits and reached base four times to lead the West Michigan Whitecaps to a 4-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Saturday afternoon.  The Whitecaps have won the first three games of the series and will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon.

The Dragons trailed 4-1 entering the ninth inning and put the tying run on base with only one out, but West Michigan held on for the win.  Narciso Crook led off the top of the ninth with his third home run of the season to make it 4-2.  With one out, Shane Mardirosian singled to right and Ed Charlton followed with another hit to right to move Mardirosian to third.  With Charlton representing the tying run, Jose Siri came to the plate.  With Charlton running on a 1-2 pitch, Siri struck out, and Charlton was tagged out at second to end the game.

The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when James Vasquez singled to right field, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a base hit to left by Crook, and scored on Shed Long’s sacrifice fly.

West Michigan took the lead in the sixth.  They loaded the bases with one out against Dragons reliever Austin Orewiler (0-1) on a pair of walks and a base hit.  Shane Zeile grounded into a fielder’s choice as the tying run scored.  With two outs, Jose Azocar connected on a hard two-hopper that was mishandled by Vasquez, the Dragons first baseman, allowing the go-ahead run to score as West Michigan jumped ahead 2-1.

 

The Whitecaps added two more runs in the eighth against Orewiler that turned out to be big, scoring one run on the wild pitch and then getting a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 going to the ninth.

Dayton finished with 10 hits.  Crook led the way with three including the home run.  Vasquez, Mardirosian, and Charlton each had two.

Dragons starting pitcher Jacob Constante was outstanding but not involved in the decision.  He fired five scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.  Orewiler (0-1) suffered the loss.  He worked two and one-third innings, allowing four hits and four runs (three earned).

The Dragons (3-14) close out the road trip on Sunday when they battle the Whitecaps (9-7) at 1:00 p.m.  Jose Lopez (2-1, 6.60) will start for the Dragons against West Michigan’s Eudis Idrogo (1-1, 5.59).

The next home game is Tuesday, April 26 when the Dragons host the Kane County Cougars at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.

Notes:  The Dragons made several roster moves prior to Saturday’s game.  Starter pitcher Ty Boyles and reliever Sarkis Ohanian were sent back to extended spring training in Goodyear, Arizona.  Relievers Conor Krauss and Wendolyn Bautista were promoted to Dayton from extended spring training.  Krauss spent the 2015 season with the Dragons, appearing in 42 games with a 3-3 record and a 2.97 ERA while notching nine saves.  Right-hander Jake Johnson, who has worked out of the Dayton bullpen this season, will take Boyles’ spot in the starting rotation and pitch on Wednesday.

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