Dayton, Ohio—Reds 2016 first round draft pick Nick Senzel belted his first professional home run and notched his first four-game game to lead the Dayton Dragons to an 8-3 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Monday night. The win gave the Dragons a split of their six-game homestand.
Senzel’s big night came on a night when Reds 2015 first rounder Tyler Stephenson also collected his first career four-hit game. While Senzel had a homer, triple, and two singles, Stephenson had two doubles and two singles. Senzel drove in four runs, scored two, and stole a base to raise his batting average from .278 to .322. Stephenson scored a run and drove on in, raising his average from .208 to .236.
The Dragons trailed 1-0 in the first inning when Shed Long doubled to left field and scored on Senzel’s triple to right to tie the game. Senzel scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1, and after Chris Okey singled with two outs, Stephenson looped a double to right to bring Okey in and give the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
In the Dayton second, Reydel Medina singled to start the inning and eventually scored from third on Senzel’s two-out infield single to make it 4-1. Wisconsin battled back in the fifth, scoring twice to pull to within a run at 4-3.
But the Dragons posted back-to-back two run innings to take command. In the fifth, Okey singled, raced to third on Stephenson’s line drive double to the left field fence, and scored on a wild pitch. Stephenson eventually scored on Medina’s sacrifice fly to make it 6-3. In the sixth, Long singled to start the inning and Senzel blasted a home run to left, the first of his pro career, to give the Dragons an 8-3 lead and close out the scoring.
Dragons starting pitcher Tanner Rainey (3-7) walked six in five innings but earned the win, surrendering three runs on four hits with four strikeouts. Lucas Benenati replaced Rainey and fired three perfect innings, striking out five without allowing a ball to leave the infield. Sarkis Ohanian pitched the ninth.
The Dragons finished with 14 hits. Along with the contributions of Senzel and Stephenson, Long had two hits including a double and scored twice. Okey had two hits and scored two runs as well.
The Dragons (9-15, 30-64) do not play on Tuesday. They travel to Davenport, Iowa to open at three-game series with the Quad Cities River Bandits (13-12, 44-50) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). Jacob Constante (4-7, 4.73) wil start for the Dragons against Quad Cities’ Yoanys Quiala (1-7, 4.35).
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.