GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Joe Boyle fired six no-hit innings and struck out eight, while first rounder Austin Hendrick collected two hits and a walk in his Dayton debut as the Dragons defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 10-1 in the opener to a six-game series on Tuesday night.
The Dragons collected a season-high 15 hits in the game while West Michigan picked up just one hit, a seventh inning home run that resulted in their only runner to advance past first base in the game.
The Dragons improved to 27-12 on the year. They are in first place with a lead of four and one-half games over Great Lakes.
Game Recap: The Dragons took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when former West Michigan infielder Nick Quintana delivered a two-out, two-run single. Quintana was acquired in the off-season by the Reds organization from the Tigers in a trade that sent former Dragon Tucker Barnhart to Detroit. Quintana played for West Michigan in 2019.
The Dragons exploded for six runs in the sixth inning, matching a season-high for most runs in a single inning. The key hits included an RBI double by Mat Nelson, a two-run single by Justice Thompson, a run-scoring ground rule double by Garrett Wolforth, and a two-run double by Allan Cerda that made it 8-0.
Meanwhile, Dragons starting pitcher Joe Boyle did not allow a hit over his innings of work, striking out eight and walking three. He left after six innings and 87 pitches. Boyle improved to 2-0 on the year and lowered his ERA to 0.53. In seven starts covering 33.2 innings, he has allowed only two runs on six hits.
West Michigan collected their only hit of the game with two outs in the seventh inning on a home run by Josh Crouch against Dayton reliever Evan Kravetz, who then retired the next seven West Michigan hitters to close out the game.
The Dragons completed the scoring in the top of the ninth inning when Wolforth delivered a two-run double to make it 10-1.
Nelson and Quintana each had three hits for the Dragons. Two of Nelson’s hits were doubles and he scored three runs. Wolforth had two doubles and three runs batted in.
Austin Hendrick, who became the 20th first round draft pick to play for the Dragons, made his High-A debut by collecting two singles and a walk while scoring two runs.
Up Next: The Dragons will battle the Whitecaps in West Michigan on Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. Bryce Bonnin (0-1, 4.30) will start for the Dragons against Jordan Marks (0-3, 5.33).