Dragons comeback to beat Whitecaps 5-4


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WDTN) – Francisco Urbaez and Victor Ruiz delivered run-scoring hits in the top of the 10th inning, and John Ghyzel pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 10th as the Dayton Dragons held on to defeat the West Michigan Whitecaps 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.  The win pulled the Dragons to within one game of first place in the High-A Central League East Division.

The game was tied 3-3 going to the 10th inning when the Dragons got the big hits they needed to win the game.  With free runner Michael Siani at second, Urbaez lined a double to the gap in right-center to bring in the go-ahead run, and Ruiz followed with a hit to right to drive in Urbaez and give Dayton a 5-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 10th, Ghyzel entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs.  He induced an infield pop out for a big first out of the inning, then got a fly out to deep left for the second out.  On the fly out, all three runners tagged and advanced one base, leaving West Michigan with runners at second and third with a 5-4 score.  Ghyzel got Gage Workman on a one-hopper to Urbaez at second to end the game.

The Dragons trailed 2-0 before scoring three times in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead.  Jacob Hurtubise started the rally with a single to center and Ruiz’s bloop single moved Hurtubise to second.  Alex McGarry then blasted a double off the center field fence to drive in Hurtubise and Ruiz to tie the game.  A passed ball moved McGarry to third, and Reniel Ozuna drove him in with a sacrifice fly to center to give Dayton a 3-2 lead.  West Michigan pushed across one run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 3-3.

Dragons pitchers allowed just two hits in the game.  West Michigan had a first inning single and a fourth inning triple as their only hits.  They did receive eight walks including four over the last two innings, but Dragons pitchers struck out 13.

The Dragons collected 11 hits.  Ruiz had three while Hurtubise and Urbaez each had two.

The Race:  The Dragons win coupled with losses by Great Lakes and Lake County allowed the Dragons to gain ground in the division race.  They moved into a tie with Lake County for second place, one game behind division-leading Great Lakes. 

Up Next:  The Dragons (44-40) do not play on Monday.  They open a six-game series in Lansing, Michigan against the Lansing Lugnuts (41-43) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.  Christian Roa, the Reds second round draft pick in 2020 (and highest-drafted pitcher by the Reds), will start for the Dragons in his first game with the club since being called up from Daytona.  He is a product of Texas A&M.  Lansing will counter with Jorge Juan (0-1, 10.13). 

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