DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Great Lakes outfielder Damon Keith blasted a three-run home run as part of a five-run fifth inning to lift the Loons to a 9-7 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Tuesday night at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.
A crowd of 8,135 was in attendance, advancing the Dragons’ all-time record sell-out streak to 1,442 consecutive games.
The Loons scored single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead before Dayton’s Michael Trautwein delivered a game-tying two-run double in the bottom of the third to drive in Jack Rogers and Justice Thompson and knot the score at 2-2.
Great Lakes scored five in the top of the fifth, keyed by the three-run homer by Keith and a solo home run by Austin Gauthier to jump ahead 7-2.
The Dragons had two legitimate chances to battle back. In the bottom of the fifth, Great Lakes pitchers issued five walks in the inning, but the Dragons could not collect a hit in the frame and settled for two runs to push the score to 7-4. Great Lakes responded with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to again lead by five at 9-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, Rogers drilled a one-out double before the next three batters walked to force in a run and make it 9-5. Austin Hendrick’s single off the shortstop’s glove brought in another run, and Tyler Callihan’s two-out bases-loaded walk forced in the third run of the inning to make it 9-7. With the bases loaded and two outs, Austin Callahan flew out to deep right field to end the threat, and the Dragons were retired in order in the ninth inning to end the game.
Dragons batters walked 12 times, two short of the club record, but they also struck out 18 times, also two short of the club record. Dayton finished with just five hits. Trautwein led the offense with a two-run double, two walks, and two runs scored. Rogers had a double, walk, and two runs scored.
On the mound, Dragons starter Hunter Parks pitched well at times but was charged with the loss. He struck out four of the first five batters of the game but allowed two home runs over his four and two-thirds innings. Parks surrendered five hits and four runs with one walk and five strikeouts.
Reliever Donovan Benoit struck out six batters over two innings while allowing one run on two hits. Vin Timpanelli pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning for Dayton after replacing Benoit.
Notes: The temperature for the first pitch of the game was 74 degrees, establishing a new Dragons record for the warmest opening night game in franchise history…The Dragons placed outfielder Jay Allen II (thumb) and infielder Edwin Arroyo (hip) on the injured list on Tuesday. Allen is expected to miss significant time while Arroyo should be back in the lineup soon.
Up Next: The Dragons (1-3) host the Loons (1-3) at Day Air Ballpark on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Carson Rudd will start for Dayton. For ticket information, go to daytondragons.com or call (937) 228-2287.
On the Air: All Dragons home and road games are broadcast on radio on FOX Sports 980 AM WONE. Games can be heard on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2.