BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green Hot Rods rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come from behind and defeat the Dayton Dragons 6-3 on Sunday evening. The Hot Rods have won two of the first three games in the series that will conclude on Monday morning.
The Dragons led 3-1 going to the bottom of the eighth, but Bowling Green collected six hits in the inning, tying the game on a two-out RBI single by Kewby Meyer and then taking the lead on a two-run double by Samm Wiggins.
Dragons starting pitcher Ty Boyles was outstanding for the fourth straight start and left the game with a two-run lead. He worked six innings and allowed just one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Boyles has allowed just one earned run over his last four starts covering 23.2 innings.
The Dragons scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. Zack Shields walked, stole second, and scored on Brantley Bell’s single. Bell eventually scored on an error after stealing third base to make it 2-0.
The Hot Rods scored in the bottom of the first, but the Dragons got the run back in the third when Bell singled, went to second on a hit by Nick Senzel, and scored on Chris Okey’s two-out single to make it 3-1.
Dragons reliever Lucas Benenati, who had allowed just one earned run over his last 20.2 innings, entered the game in relief of Boyles and pitched a perfect seventh inning, then struck out the first batter he faced in the eighth. But the next three hits delivered base hits. Benenati was replaced by Sarkis Ohanian with the Dragons leading 3-2 and runners at first and second with one out. Ohanian retired the first batter he faced and was one strike away from getting out of the inning with the lead, but Meyer drove an 0-2 pitch to right field for the game-tying single. Wiggins, primarily a bullpen catcher this season for the Hot Rods who was playing in his first game of the year, doubled to the gap in left-center to drive in two more runs and make it 5-3. The Hot Rods added one more run in the inning and held the Dragons scoreless in the ninth. Benenati (0-1) was charged with the loss.
The Dragons collected seven hits. Brantley Bell had two hits to extend his hitting streak to nine straight games. Bell scored two runs and drove in one. He is 17 for 35 (.486) over the course of his hitting streak. Nick Senzel also had two hits for the Dragons. Zack Shields had a hit and a walk to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games.
The Dragons (24-39, 45-88) meet Bowling Green (42-21, 79-53) on Monday morning at 11:35 a.m. (EDT) in the last game of the four-game series. Jesus Reyes (5-4, 2.10) will start for the Dragons against Bowling Green’s Eduar Lopez (4-2, 3.24).
The next home game is Wednesday, August 31 when the Dragons host the Lake County Captains at Fifth Third Field at 7:00 p.m.