DAYTON, Ohio—Dayton’s Brantley Bell belted a drive over the head of the center fielder to bring in James Vasquez from second base with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Dragons defeated the Bowling Green Hot Rods 6-5 on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons swept the four-game series with Bowling Green, winning all four games by two runs or less including two “walk off” wins.
The Dragons led most of the game but fell behind 5-2 when Bowling Green scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning. Dayton responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score 5-5, and then won the game with a run in the 10th.
The winning rally began when Vasquez singled to right field with one out in the 10th, and Michael Beltre walked to move Vasquez to second. Bell followed with a long drive to center field that cleared the outstretched glove of Hot Rods outfielder Josh Lowe, allowing Vasquez to easily score from second to end the game.
The Dragons improved to 30-13 with the win. They are 19-4 over their last 23 games and 18-2 over their last 20 home games. The Dragons extended their lead in the Midwest League East Division to one and one-half games over second place West Michigan. Third place South Bend is three and one-half games back.
The Dragons scored single runs in the first and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead. Taylor Trammell singled in T.J. Friedl in the first. In the fourth, Trammell scored from third on Michael Beltre’s ground out to make it 2-0.
Meanwhile, Dragons starting pitcher Wennington Romero sailed through the first six innings, retiring 17 straight batters at one point. In the seventh, Romero walked the first two batters and then allowed a three-run home run to Jonah Heim as Bowling Green took a 3-2 lead. The Hot Rods added two more runs in the same inning to lead 5-2.
The Dragons answered with a three-run bottom of the seventh. They loaded the bases on three walks before Jose Siri delivered a two-out, two-run single to make it 5-4, and Trammell followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game.
Reliever Jesse Adams (4-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th inning to earn the win for the Dragons. Romero was charged with four runs in six and one-third innings, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Dragons collected 11 hits. Friedl and Trammell each had three hits and Siri had two. Two of Friedl’s hits were doubles.
Up Next: The Dragons travel to Midland, Michigan to meet the Great Lakes Loons (20-23) in the first game of a four-game series on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Ty Boyles will make his first start of the year for the Dragons. The next Dragons home game is Friday, May 26 when they host West Michigan in the start to a big four-game series at Fifth Third Field.