DAYTON, Ohio - Seth Mejias-Brean's infield single brought in Beau Amaral from third base with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Dayton Dragons battled back from a late three-run deficit to defeat the South Bend Silver Hawks 4-3 on Monday night at Fifth Third Field. The Dragons took two-of-three in the series.
Dayton tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After a pair of singles by Jesse Winker and Mejias-Brean, Tanner Rahier hit a hard ground ball down the left field line into the Dayton bullpen. Winker scored from second and Mejias-Brean scored from first to tie the game and send it on to extra innings.
With two outs and the bases empty in the Dayton half of the 10th, Beau Amaral lined a single to left field and Sammy Diaz followed with a hit to center that moved Amaral to third. Winker was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Mejias-Brean followed with a ground ball along the third base line that was fielding with a diving, back-handed stop by South Bend third baseman Brandon Drury. But Mejias-Brean beat Drury's throw to first base as Amaral scored to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Robert Stephenson (5-4) made his first start in exactly one month as he returned from a strained hamstring. Stephenson, on a 65-pitch limit, worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits and three unearned runs with two walks and three strikeouts. All three South Bend runs came across in the second inning. Jackson Stephens followed Stephenson and provided five and one-third scoreless innings of relief to keep the Dragons within three. Joel Bender (1-2) pitched a perfect top of the 10th inning for the win.
The Dragons trailed 3-0 until they scored their first run in the eighth inning when Rahier doubled to left field with one out, went to third on Adam Matthews' ground out, and scored on Joe Hudson's infield single, a slow roller to third to make it 3-1. Rahier's two-run double in the ninth tied the game.
The Dragons finished with nine hits. Mejias-Brean, Hudson, and Rahier each had three. South Bend collected only four hits in the 10-inning game.
The Dragons improved to 9-10 in the second half while South Bend fell to 11-8.
The Dragons do not play on Tuesday. They travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday at 7:35 p.m. (EDT). Sal Romano (5-7, 4.60) will start for Dayton against Cedar Rapids' Christian Powell (2-2, 4.40).
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