Dragons defeat Kernels in extra innings

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Shed Long and Nick Senzel both scored on an error with two outs in the top of the 10th inning as the Dayton Dragons came from behind to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 6-4 on Saturday night.  The Dragons evened their record at 2-2 on their six-game road trip.

The game was tied 4-4 going to extra innings.  In the top of the 10th, Long led off with a single to right and then raced around to third on Senzel’s hard single off the glove of the shortstop.  After the next two hitters were retired, the Kernels intentionally walked Kevin Franklin to load the bases.  Pinch hitter Brantley Bell then hit a hard grounder to the left side.  Third baseman Chris Ibarra made and excellent diving stop, but his throw to second bounced off the glove of Sean Miller and rolled away, allowing two runs to score as the Dragons took a 6-4.

Dragons closer Sarkis Ohanis came on to pitch the bottom of the 10th and recorded a perfect inning for his ninth save.  He struck out two in the inning.  The victory was credited to Ryan Hendrix (1-0), who pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing just one base runner while striking out four.

The Dragons trailed 1-0 when they scored three runs in the third to take the lead.  Shane Mardirosian opened the inning with a base hit to left field, and Zack Shields walked on four pitches.  Long grounded out as the runners advanced to second and third.  Senzel then reached on an infield single that scored Mardirosian, and Shields scored on the same play when the ball glanced off the glove of the shortstop behind second base.  One batter later, Chris Okey lined a singled to center field to drive in Senzel from second and make it 3-1.

Dragons starter Jose Lopez left the game in the sixth inning with two men on base and a 3-1 lead, but was eventually charged with three runs in his outing as both inherited runners scored against Dragons reliever Manuel Aybar.  The Kernels scored three in the sixth as Aybar issued a bases loaded walk and later surrendered a run-scoring double as Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 4-3 lead.

The Dragons answered in the seventh.  Luis Gonzalez walked to start the inning and went to second on Mardirosian’s single.  With one out, Long walked to load the bases, and Senzel followed with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at 4-4.

The Dragons finished with eight hits.  Mardirosian was 3 for 4 with a run scored.  Senzel was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.

The Dragons (11-17, 32-66) battle the Kernels (16-13, 52-46) in the second game of the three-game set on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. (EDT).  Tanner Rainey (3-7, 5.77) will start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Cody Stashak (6-5, 3.15).  The series will conclude on Monday at 1:05 p.m.  The Dragons next home game is Wednesday, July 27 at Fifth Third Field against the Great Lakes Loons.

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