Dragons complete huge comeback with 8-7 Win


DAYTON, Ohio – Quincy McAfee’s three-run double with two outs in the sixth inning capped one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history as the Dayton Dragons erased a 7-0 deficit and defeated the Great Lakes Loons 8-7 on Tuesday night at Day Air Ballpark. A crowd of 4,892 saw the Dragons take over sole possession of first place with the win.

The Dragons matched their two largest comebacks over the last 10 seasons. On July 22, 2013 and August 22, 2016, the Dragons battled back to win after trailing by seven runs.

Great Lakes built a 7-0 lead by scoring four runs in the first inning and three more in the second. McAfee started the Dragons comeback effort with a two-run home run in the fourth to make it 7-2.

The Dragons added three more runs in the fifth. Victor Ruiz opened the inning with a triple and scored on an error. Several batters later, Quin Cotton lined a double to the right field corner with two outs to drive in two runs and make it 7-5.

In the sixth, Eric Yang singled with one out and Jonathan Willems reached on an error. Jacob Hurtubise drew a two-out walk to load the bases, and McAfee followed with a hard ground ball down the left field line that cleared the bases to give the Dragons an 8-7 lead.

Meanwhile, Dragons reliever Carson Spiers was brilliant. He entered the game to start the third inning and worked six scoreless frames, allowing only two base runners while striking out nine. Spiers retired the last 13 batters he faced, striking out two batters in each of the last four innings he pitched to earn the win.

Francis Peguero worked the ninth for his third save. Peguero allowed a two-out double and had to face one of the league’s top hitters, Miguel Vargas, with the tying run at second. He got Vargas to fly out to right field to end the game.

McAfee’s five runs batted in gave him 12 RBI in his last three games and a team-leading 23 on the year. Hurtubise reached base four times with two hits and two walks, increasing his league-leading on-base percentage to .448. Hurtubise also stole his 18th base of the season, just two short of the lead across all of Minor League Baseball.

The Race: The Dragons (17-14) moved into first place with the win, one-half game ahead of West Michigan in the East Division standings. The Whitecaps lost to Lansing on Tuesday.

Up Next: Dayton host Great Lakes again on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark in the second game of the six-game series. Eduardo Salazar (1-1, 2.27) will start for the Dragons against Alec Gamboa (0-3, 5.57).

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