John Sansone blasted a three-run home run and Narciso Crook delivered a three-run double as the Dayton Dragons erased a 6-0 deficit to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 8-6 on Tuesday night. A crowd of 8,646, the Dragons largest of the year, saw the Dragons win for the eighth time in the last nine games.
Tuesday’s win marked the second time in the last eight days that the Dragons have won a game in which they trailed by six runs. The Dragons rallied from a deficit of at least six runs to win a game only once over the previous four seasons from 2014-17.
Cedar Rapids scored two runs in the first inning, another in the third, and three in the fourth to open a 6-0 lead. But the Dragons responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth to climb back to within striking distance. Crook’s run-scoring double brought in Miles Gordon from first base, and later in the inning, Sansone connected on a home run with two men on base to make it 6-4. The homer was Sansone’s third of the season.
There was no more scoring until the seventh inning when the Dragons took the lead. They loaded the bases with two outs before Crook lined a double to the left field fence to drive in three runs and give the Dragons a 7-6 lead. Stuart Fairchild followed with a single to center to bring in Crook and make it 8-6.
Dragons reliever Tyler Buffett pitched a scoreless eighth inning, stranding two runners. Cory Thompson gave up a lead-off single in the ninth but retired the next three hitters to earn his second save. Sarkis Ohanian, the second of four Dragons pitchers, was credited with the win after tossing one and one-third innings of scoreless relief. Dragons starting pitcher Austin Orewiler worked the first five and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
The Dragons finished with nine hits. Crook led the way, going 2 for 4 with four runs batted in. Gordon had two hits, a walk, and two runs scored. Hendrik Clementina had two hits to raise his batting average to .397.
Notes: The Dragons have scored at least seven runs in seven of their last eight games…Thirteen of the Dragons 17 wins have been comeback victories.
In the Standings: The Dragons record improved to 17-12. They are in third place, two games behind first place Bowling Green and one-half game behind second place Lansing in the Midwest League East Division.
Up Next: The Dragons close out the three-game series with Cedar Rapids on Wednesday night at 7:00 EDT. Adrian Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29).