South Bend, INDIANA (WDTN) - The Dayton Dragons broke a 2-2 tie with one run in the top of the ninth inning and reliever John Ghyzel pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to preserve a 3-2 victory over the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday. The Dragons snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win in the opener of a six-game road trip that will conclude the first half in the Midwest League’s split-season format.
The Dragons game-winning rally began when Andy Sugilio reached on a two-out single in the top of the ninth. With Sugilio running on the pitch, John Sansone lined a single to left to move Sugilio to third. Mark Kolozsvary then hit a slow bouncer to shortstop. South Bend’s Jhonny Bethencourt fielded the ball but threw high to first, pulling Austin Filiere off the bag. Filiere jumped to catch the throw and tried to tag Kolozsvary before he landed, but Kolozsvary was called safe as Sugilio scored to give the Dragons the lead.
Ghyzel struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth on 3-2 pitches, then got a groundout to shortstop to end the game. He picked up his league-leading 12th save. The victory was credited to reliever Cory Thompson (4-1), who worked an inning and one-third of scoreless baseball, striking out three of the five batters he faced.
Dragons starting pitcher Packy Naughton was outstanding but came away with no decision. He worked six and two-thirds innings, allowing two unearned runs, and came within one out of leaving the game with seven scoreless innings. Naughton gave up seven hits but walked no one and struck out five.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when J.D. Williams was hit by a pitch, stole second, and eventually scored on an error. In the sixth, Dayton’s Leandro Santana belted his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast, to make it 2-0.
South Bend tied the game in the seventh. A Dayton error, the first committed by the Dragons after five straight games without a miscue, was followed by a two-out single and then a two-run double by Chris Singleton to tie the game at 2-2.
The Dragons finished with six hits. Kolozsvary was 2 for 4 with a double. Santana’s home run was his second in the last five games.
The Dragons improved to 30-33 in the first half with the win with five games to play. South Bend fell to 33-31.
Notes: Dragons catcher Hendrik Clementina was named on Tuesday as one of six participants in the Home Run Derby at the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 19 at Lansing.
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