DAYTON, Ohio – Three South Bend pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout as the Cubs edged the Dayton Dragons 1-0 on Saturday night. A crowd of 7,522 was in attendance at Fifth Third Field for the first game of a three-game set.
One night after the Dragons produced their biggest offensive night of the year when they scored 13 runs on 18 hits Friday at Bowling Green, the Dragons struggled to create scoring chances. They had only three at-bats in the game with runners in scoring position and could not deliver the big hit.
South Bend scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning when Brennen Davis tripled to start the frame and scored on Fidel Mejia’s single. Two batters later in the same inning, South Bend had the bases loaded with no outs, but Dayton starting pitcher Lyon Richardson was able to work out of trouble. Richardson got a strikeout and a double play ball to end the inning and keep the Dragons within one run.
Dayton’s best chance to score came in the sixth inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Randy Ventura singled to center field and went from first to third on Miles Gordon’s single to right. Gordon stole second to put the Dragons into a second-and-third, two-out situation. But Mariel Bautista grounded to third. The throw to first by Mejia, the third baseman, was low, but Luke Reynolds made the scoop to get the out and end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Dayton’s Pabel Manzanero reached on a two-out infield single. Michael Siani entered the game to pinch run for Manzanero and immediately went to second on a wild pitch. But Brian Rey grounded out to third base to end the game.
Richardson (2-6) was outstanding as the Dragons starting pitcher but was charged with the loss. He tossed six innings, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Adrian Rodriguez replaced Richardson and fired three scoreless innings.
The Dragons did not have an extra base hit in the game after collecting a season-high eight on Friday night in Bowling Green. Five Dayton players had one hit apiece.
Up Next: The Dragons (6-10, 34-52) host the Cubs (9-7, 46-38) again on Sunday at Fifth Third Field at 2:08 p.m. Alexis Diaz (6-3, 5.77) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Riley Thompson (4-4, 2.53). Sunday’s game will be televised on Dayton’s CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).