GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WDTN) – The West Michigan Whitecaps scored five runs in the first inning and held off a Dayton comeback effort to defeat the Dragons 6-5 on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs split the six-game series.
The Dragons saw their second half record drop to 9-19 (48-46 overall). West Michigan improved to 21-9 in the second half (52-44 overall).
Game Recap: West Michigan sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Dragons trailed 6-2 through five innings before battling back. In the sixth, Tyler Callihan and Austin Hendrick collected back-to-back doubles to start the inning, and Garrett Wolforth delivered a two-run single to make it 6-4.
In the seventh, Dayton’s Quincy McAfee launched a home run to left field to pull the Dragons to within a run at 6-5. It was McAfee’s second home run in nine games since he re-joined the Dragons. But Dayton did not put another man on base after McAfee’s home run. The final eight Dragons batters were retired in order.
Another strong day for the Dayton bullpen gave the club a chance to rally. Relievers Jake Stevenson, Donovan Benoit, and Vin Timpanelli combined for five scoreless innings. Over the last three games of the series, Dayton relievers worked 14.1 innings without surrendering a run.
The Dragons finished the day with eight hits. McAfee was 2 for 3 with a home run.
Dragons starting pitcher Chase Petty made his High-A debut. Petty tossed three innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with three walks, one strikeout, and two hit batsmen. Petty allowed five runs in the first inning on three hits, walking one batter and hitting two.
Notes: Dragons designated hitter Brian Rey came out of the game in the top of the first inning immediately after being hit by a pitch, apparently on or near the elbow. Rey walked off the field in extreme pain. His injury status is unknown.
Up Next: The Dragons do not play on Monday. They return home to Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District on Tuesday, August 2 when they host the Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) in the start of a six-game series. Miguel Medrano (1-3, 6.04) will start for the Dragons.