Dayton, Ohio—Mat Nelson blasted a tie-breaking two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Dayton Dragons to a 5-3 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Friday night.

A crowd of 8,139 was in attendance at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.

The win snapped the Dragons season-long seven-game losing streak as they improved their second half record to 6-14 (45-41 overall).  Fort Wayne fell to 9-13 in the second half (36-52 overall).

Game Recap:  The Dragons jumped out to a 3-0 lead, scoring single runs in the first, third, and fourth innings.  Fort Wayne scored three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.

In the bottom of the eighth, Dayton’s Austin Hendrick led off with a single to left field.  Nelson followed with a long home run to left, his sixth homer of the year, to give the Dragons a 5-3 lead.

Dayton reliever Jake Gilbert (5-1) entered the game with two outs and two on base in the seventh and recorded the final out.  He stranded a runner at third base in the top of the eighth, and then returned to the mound with the lead in the ninth.  Gilbert walked the first hitter of the inning, but then got a strikeout, fly out, and another strikeout to close out the Dayton win.

The Dragons scored on an error in the first inning and added a run in the third on Hendrick’s two-out, run-scoring single.  They scored again in the fourth when Nelson tripled and scored on a single by Jose Torres.

Dragons starting pitcher Christian Roa tossed four scoreless innings, allowing two hits with no walks and six strikeouts.  Roa has thrown 14 shutout innings over his last three starts.  Reliever Donovan Benoit followed Roa and threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with four strikeouts.  Vin Timpanelli worked a hard-luck seventh inning, allowing three runs (two earned) as only two balls left the infield.  Fort Wayne capitalized on a lead-off double before a walk, infield single, error, and a broken bat game-tying single that barely cleared the reach of second baseman Quincy McAfee.

Dayton finished with seven hits.  Nelson reached base four times with a home run, triple, walk, and hit batsman.  Hendrick and Daniel Vellojin each had two singles. 

Notes:  The Dragons were 2 for 5 with runners in scoring position, while Fort Wayne was 2 for 12…Dragons pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts.

Up Next:  The Dragons continue their series with Fort Wayne at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District on Saturday, July 23 at 7:05 p.m.  The series will conclude on Sunday, July 24 at 1:05 p.m.  For ticket information, go or call (937) 228-2287.   

On the Air:  Saturday’s game will be televised on Dayton’s CW (Channel 26; Spectrum Cable channels 13 and 1013).  All Dragons home and road games are broadcast on radio on FOX Sports 980 AM WONE.  Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at  Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD