FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Dayton’s Allan Cerda collected a single, double, and triple while Eric Yang also had three hits and two runs batted in to lead the Dragons to an 8-6 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons and TinCaps split the six-game series.
Cerda went 9 for 21 (.429) with six extra base hits in five games in his first series with the Dragons. He led a 12-hit attack, the Dragons highest hit total since August 14.
The Dragons took an early lead in the top of the second when Cerda tripled and scored on a single through the middle by Alex McGarry. Fort Wayne responded with single runs in the bottom of the second and third to take a 2-1 lead.
The Dragons briefly regained the lead in the top of the fourth, getting four consecutive hits from McGarry, Jack Rogers, Yang, and Jonathan Willems to plate two runs. The hits by McGarry and Willems were doubles as Dayton jumped ahead 3-2. Fort Wayne tied the game with a run in the fifth.
The Dragons jumped back ahead in the sixth inning, taking advantage of two walks and five wild pitches by Fort Wayne reliever Austin Smith as the Dragons scored twice to go ahead, 5-3. Dayton added another run in the sixth when they loaded the bases with no outs and Rogers hit into a double play to bring in Juan Martinez, who had singled, to make it 6-3.
Fort Wayne scored two runs with two outs in the seventh and had the bases loaded when the Dragons called upon reliever Pedro Garcia to work out the jam. Garcia struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat and then pitched a perfect eighth inning.
The Dragons added two more in the top of the ninth to go ahead 8-5 as Cerda started the rally with his fifth double in five games. Andy Fisher entered the game to pitch the bottom of the ninth and allowed one run but prevented Fort Wayne from putting the tying run on base to earn his first save.
Carson Spiers (5-3), the Dragons starting pitcher, earned the win, going five innings and allowing three runs on four hits with three walks, two hit batsmen, and four strikeouts.
In addition to Cerda and Yang’s three-hit performances, McGarry and Rogers each had two hits for Dayton.
The Race: Cedar Rapids led the Dragons by four games in the race for the final playoff slot when the day began. The Kernels were tied with Beloit, 5-5, in the fifth inning as this story was posted.
Up Next: The Dragons (53-49) return home to open a six-game series at Day Air Ballpark on Tuesday against the Lansing Lugnuts (48-54) at 7:05 p.m. James Proctor is expected to be promoted to Dayton from Daytona to make the start. Proctor, out of Princeton University, went 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) with Daytona.