Dayton, Ohio—Chris Okey’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning brought in Nick Senzel from second base to cap the biggest comeback in more than three years for the Dayton Dragons as they defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 11-10 on Monday night.
The Dragons trailed 10-3 before scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh, one more in the eighth, and two in the ninth to win. The Dragons last battled back from a seven-run deficit to win on July 22, 2013 when they defeated Wisconsin at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons trailed 10-9 with the two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brantley Bell lined a single to right field to start the game-winning rally. After Nick Senzel ran the count to 3-0, he was given an intentional walk to push the tying run into scoring position and put the winning run on base. James Vasquez followed with a single up the middle to drive in Bell and tie the game. Okey then lined an 0-1 pitch to right-center field for a hit to bring in Senzel without a throw as the Dragons capped off the comeback.
Lansing scored four runs in the top of the first inning and continued to lead 4-0 until the sixth. The Dragons did not have a hit until the fifth when Avain Rachal reached on an infield single. The first two batters were retired in the Dayton sixth before Daniel Sweet tripled and scored on Brantley Bell’s double. Bell scored on Senzel’s single, and after Senzel stole second, Vasquez singled him in to make it 4-3.
But Lansing answered with a six-run top of the seventh to take a 10-3 lead. The Dragons responded with a big inning in the bottom of the seventh.
The Dragons loaded the bases with one out on three straight singles by Rachal, Shane Mardirosian, and Zack Shields. Mitch Piatnik singled in Rachal, and Sweet singled in Mardirosian to make it 10-5. Senzel followed with a bases-loaded double to bring in all three runners and make it 10-8.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mardirosian was hit by a pitch with two outs, stole second, and scored on Shields’ single to make it 10-9, setting the stage for the ninth inning rally.
Dragons starting pitcher Tony Santillan did not make it out of the first inning, allowing three hits, three walks, and four runs. But reliever Lucas Benenati followed Santillan with five near-perfect innings. Braulio Ortiz was charged with six runs (three earned) in the seventh, but Manuel Aybar and Tanner Rainey combined to work the rest of the game without surrendering a hit or run. Rainey (4-10) was credited with the win.
For the second straight day, the Dragons collected 15 hits. Senzel was 2 for 3 with four runs batted in. Sweet, Bell, Vasquez, Rachal, and Shields each had two hits. All nine hitters had at least one hit and either a run scored or an RBI.
The Dragons (21-36, 42-85) have won seven straight home games. They will host Lansing (28-29, 64-63) again on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Ty Boyles (5-8, 5.19) will start for the Dragons against Lansing’s Justin Maese (1-2, 2.72).
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.