DAYTON, Ohio – The Lake County Captains scored five runs in the top of the first inning and held off a Dayton comeback bid to defeat the Dragons 5-4 on Friday night. The Captains avoided a sweep of the three-game series with the win.
After Lake County sent nine batters to the plate and scored five in the top of the first, the Dragons started back in the bottom half of the same inning. Jose Garcia singled to start the inning, went to second on Jeter Downs’ hit, and eventually scored on Hendrik Clementina’s ground out to make it 5-1.
The Dragons added two more runs in the third inning. Downs walked with two outs, went to third on India’s double, and Clementina followed with a single to left to drive in both runners and make it 5-3.
The Dragons scored again in the sixth when Leandro Santana singled to center with one out, went to second on a ground out and to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an error to make it 5-4.
The Dragons loaded the bases with no one out in the seventh but could not score. After a single by Garcia and walks to Downs and India, Clementina struck out in a 10-pitch at-bat for the first out. Andy Sugilio then lined out to left field and Downs was doubled off second base on the play to end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Downs walked with one out, stole second, and went to third on India’s long fly out to center. Clementina struck out on a pitch that skipped past the catcher, but Lake County’s Jonathan Laureano retrieved the ball and threw to first to get Clementina on a close play as Downs was racing in from third to end the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton (5-10) had a rough first inning but then settled down to pitch effectively into the seventh. He worked six and two-thirds innings, allowing eight hits and five runs (all in the first) with two walks and six strikeouts to take the loss. Wendolyn Bautista pitched an inning and one-third of scoreless relief and Aneurys Zabala followed with one scoreless inning.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Garcia had two to lead the attack. India’s double was the only extra base hit.
In the Standings: The Dragons fell to 22-32 in the second half with the loss. They are four and one-half games behind West Michigan in the Midwest League’s East Division Second Half wildcard race. There are 16 games to play including 10 home games for the Dragons.
Austin Orewiler (4-4, 3.54) J.D. Busfield (0-0, 3.09)
Game Broadcast: Dragons games on Saturday and Sunday will be televised on Dayton’s CW (Channel 26; Spectrum Cable channels 13 and 1013).