Loons get walk off win over Dragons 5-4

Midland, Mich.—Great Lakes outfielder Cody Thomas blasted a two-out solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Loons to a 5-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Monday night.  The game snapped the Dragons four-game winning streak and was the first of a four-game series in Midland.

Thomas came to the plate with the bases empty and two outs in the 10th, having struck out in each of his four at-bats on the night.  But he connected on a long home run to right field off Dragons reliever Joel Kuhnel that gave the Loons a walk-off win.

The Dragons trailed 4-3 going to the ninth inning but tied the game and had a chance to get the lead.  Tyler Stephenson singled to start the inning and John Sansone lined a hit to left with one out.  Brantley Bell walked to load the bases.  Hector Vargas delivered a sacrifice fly to bring in the tying run as runners advanced to second and third with two outs.  But Michael Beltre struck out to end any further scoring. 

After Great Lakes was retired in order in the bottom of the ninth by Dragons reliever Jesse Stallings, the Dragons again had a chance to take the lead in the top of the 10th.  T.J. Friedl walked to start the inning and went to second on Jose Siri’s bunt single.  But Taylor Trammell popped out on a bunt to the pitcher, Luis Gonzalez fouled out to first, and James Vasquez grounded to second.  The Dragons left runners in scoring position in each of their last four innings.

The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Tyler Stephenson walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Brantley Bell’s double to left field.  Great Lakes scored three in the third to jump ahead 3-1.  The Dragons tied the game in the sixth when T.J. Friedl doubled down the right field line and scored on Jose Siri’s single.  Siri went from first to third on a wild pick-off throw and scored on Taylor Trammell’s ground out to tie the game at 3-3.  The Loons regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the eighth.

The Dragons fell to 30-14 with the win.  They are still 19-5 over their last 24 games.  The Dragons saw their lead in the Midwest League East Division cut to one-half game over second place West Michigan, who won on Monday.  Third place South Bend is three and one-half games back after losing.

The Dragons collected eight hits.  Siri and Bell each had two.  

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