LANSING, Mich.—Elly De La Cruz belted a home run and added two doubles and three runs batted in to lead the Dayton Dragons to a 10-8 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs split the six-game series.
Dayton collected a season-high nine extra base hits in the game including home runs by De La Cruz and Jonathan Willems along with five doubles and two triples. Their 14 total hits was also a season high.
The Dragons improved to 22-10 on the year. They are in first place with a lead of three and one-half games over Great Lakes.
Game Recap: The Dragons scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead as Jonathan Willems and Elly De La Cruz each hit two-run home runs in the inning. The homer by Willems was his first of the year and De La Cruz hit his fifth.
De La Cruz added a run-scoring double in the fifth inning to give the Dragons a 5-2 lead, and they added three more runs in the top of the seventh to jump ahead 8-2. Doubles by Ashton Creal and De La Cruz got the inning started before Rece Hinds delivered a run-scoring single and Allan Cerda added an RBI double.
Lansing battled back with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-6, but the Dragons responded with two in the top of the eighth to extend their lead to 10-6. Alex McGarry’s two-out, two-run triple was the big hit in the inning. Lansing closed out the scoring with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings but they were never able to get the tying run to the plate after the seventh.
Big contributors to the Dragons 14-hit attack, along with De La Cruz and Willems, were Jack Rogers, who had a double, triple, walk, and two runs scored; Cerda, who added a single, double, walk, and RBI; Creal, who had three hits including a double with a walk, three runs scored, and a stolen base.
Dragons starting pitcher James Proctor (2-2) worked the first five innings for the win. He allowed two runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Donovan Benoit earned his fifth save by pitching the ninth inning, allowing one run on one hit.
Up Next: The Dragons do not play on Monday. They return to Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District to host the Quad Cities River Bandits on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:05 p.m. Joe Boyle (1-0, 0.42) will start for Dayton.