DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The South Bend Cubs came from behind to score eight runs in the ninth inning and defeat the Dayton Dragons 9-2 on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field. The game was the opener to a three-game series between playoff contenders in the Midwest League’s East Division.
Despite the loss, the Dragons (33-18) remained one game out of first place, keeping pace with West Michigan, who lost to Great Lakes. Third place South Bend (32-19) pulled to within one game of the Dragons with 19 games to play in the first half race. The top two finishers in the division will qualify for post-season play.
The Dragons took a 2-1 lead to the ninth inning, only to see the first 10 South Bend batters reach base safely as they scored seven runs before an out was recorded. The Cubs collected nine hits in the inning and took advantage of two misplayed bunts by the Dragons defensively. The Cubs entered the ninth inning with only four hits on the night.
The Dragons broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning when Bruce Yari led off the frame with a base hit to left field and James Vasquez followed with a home run to right-center to make it 2-0. It was Vasquez’s team-leading fifth home run of the year. South Bend got a solo home run from Luis Ayala in the seventh to make it 2-1.
Dayton starting pitcher Scott Moss was outstanding. He worked five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Jesse Adams replaced Moss to start the sixth and worked three innings, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Jesse Stallings (1-2) started the ninth inning and faced seven batters, all of whom scored. Stallings was replaced by Aaron Fossas, who surrendered three hits and one run.
The Dragons six-hit attack was led by Yari, who was 2 for 4 with a double as he extended his hitting streak to seven straight games.
Up Next: The Dragons and Cubs meet in the middle game of the three-game series on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field. Wennington Romero (3-1, 2.59) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Jose Paulino (2-0, 4.46).
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.