MIDLAND, Michigan – The Great Lakes Loons scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth and held off a Dayton comeback bid in the ninth to defeat the Dragons 3-2 on Monday night. The Loons have won the first three games of the series. The set and the 13-game road trip for the Dragons will conclude on Tuesday night.
Dayton’s Andy Sugilio was thrown out at the plate to end the game as he tried to score from second base as the potential tying run on Mark Kolozsvary’s single to center field. Great Lakes center fielder Chris Roller, who drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, fielded Kolozsvary’s single and delivered a perfect throw home as Sugilio was tagged out to preserve the win for the Loons.
The Dragons scored in the second inning and led the game until the Loons uprising in the eighth, with all their scoring coming with two out. The Loons loaded the bases and scored the tying run on a wild pitch by Dragons reliever Miguel Aguilar. Devin Mann then ripped a two-run triple to give the Loons a 3-1 lead.
Dayton rallied in the top of the ninth. Jeter Downs was hit by a pitch to start the inning and with one out, Sugilio and Alejo Lopez delivered back-to-back singles to center field to load the bases. Pinch hitter Hendrik Clementina struck out for the second out of the inning before Kolozvary lined a hit to center. Downs scored easily, but Sugilio was tagged out at the plate on a close play to end the game.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when J.D. Williams walked with two outs and scored from first base on a triple to the fence in left-center field by Kolozsvary.
Dragons starting pitcher Austin Orewiler was exceptional. He fired six scoreless innings, allowing four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Dauri Moreta pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Wendolyn Bautista entered the game to start the eighth and allowed a lead-off single and a sacrifice bunt that moved the tying run to second. Andy Cox replaced Bautista and struck out the first batter he faced for the second out, but he walked the next two to load the bases. Aguilar replaced Cox and allowed the wild pitch that tied the game and the two-run triple to Mann that gave Great Lakes the lead.
The Dragons finished with five hits including three in the ninth inning. Kolozsvary was 2 for 4 with two runs batted in.
In the Standings: The Dragons fell to 20-30 in the second half and have lost seven straight games. They are three and one-half games behind Fort Wayne in the race for the final playoff spot in the Midwest League’s East Division Second Half race. There are 20 games to play including 13 home games for the Dragons. The Dragons are 2-10 on their 13-game road trip.
(2-4, 4.54) Alfredo Tavarez (1-4, 2.95)