Eastlake, Ohio—The Dayton Dragons escaped final inning trouble in both ends of a doubleheader to earn a sweep of the Lake County Captains on Saturday afternoon, winning both games by one run. The Dragons took the opener 4-3 and won the second game 2-1 as Lake County left the tying run at third base in both games.
The Dragons have won three straight games and went 4-2 in the six-game series at Lake County, improving their 2022 record to 6-3. They will begin a six-game set at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street district on Tuesday against West Michigan as the top two teams in the East Division match up.
Game Recap: The Dragons jumped out to an early lead in the first game, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Albert Almora, Jr. opened the game by reaching on an infield single, went to second on a wild pitch, and after Rece Hinds walked, Almora scored on a base hit to center field by Jose Torres as Hinds raced around to third. The Dragons then pulled off a double steal with Hinds racing in from third after Torres stole second to make it 2-0.
Lake County responded with two runs in the bottom of the first, and the Captains took the lead with a run in the third.
Dayton tied the game in the fourth on a long home run to left field by J.V. Martinez to make it 3-3. The homer was the first of the season by Martinez. In the top of the seventh, Dayton’s Nick Quintana blasted a double to center field to start the inning and eventually scored on a double to left by Ashton Creal to give the Dragons a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lake County produced a major threat to tie the game or win it. Joe Naranjo reached second base to begin the inning on a fly ball lost in the sun by Dragons center fielder Allan Cerda, and Jhonkensy Noel followed with a walk to put the winning run on base. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded with one out. But Dragons reliever Jake Gozzo struck out Gabriel Rodriguez and got Mike Amditis to ground out hard to second base to end the game.
In the second game, Dragons starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (1-0) struck out 10 batters over five scoreless innings. Abbott allowed three hits and two walks to earn the win. Dayton took the lead in the top of the sixth, getting a bases loaded walk to Alex McGarry to snap a scoreless tie. They added another run on a wild pitch in the same inning to make it 2-0.
Lake County pulled to within one run in the bottom of the sixth and had the bases loaded with one out before Dragons reliever Jake Gilbert retired the next two batters to strand three runners. In the seventh, Dragons reliever Donovan Benoit issued a one-out walk, got the second out, then walked Lake County slugger Joe Naranjo to put runners at first and second. Benoit then got the next hitter on a routine ground out to second base to end the game.
Up Next: The Dragons (6-3) return home to Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District on Tuesday, April 19 when they host the West Michigan Whitecaps at 7:05 p.m. Hard-throwing Joe Boyle out of Notre Dame will start for the Dragons. The series with West Michigan will continue through Sunday.