DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dragons rallied back from a three-run deficit to defeat the Quad Cities River Bandits 6-4 in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday night. The River Bandits edged the Dragons 2-1 in the nightcap to earn a split of the twin bill.
The Dragons have won three of five in the series that will conclude on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. In all three Dragons wins, they have battled back from deficits ranging from three to six runs.
The Dragons fell behind 3-0 through the first two innings of the first game, but they responded with four runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Quin Cotton’s two-run home run, his third homer of the year and second of the series, put Dayton in front.
Quad Cities tied the game in the top of the sixth and had a great chance to get the lead with the bases loaded and no one out. But Dayton’s bullpen duo of Andy Fisher and Pedro Garcia worked out of the jam. Fisher got a strikeout before being replaced by Garcia, who struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, Eric Yang singled with two outs and Miguel Hernandez drew a walk. Quincy McAfee followed with a double to left-center field that brought in both runners and gave Dayton a 6-4 lead. Garcia pitched a perfect seventh inning to close out the Dragons win.
In the second game, Dragons starting pitcher Noah Davis did not allow a hit over the first four innings before allowing two hits and an unearned run in the top of the fifth to put Quad Cities ahead 1-0. The Dragons threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out, getting a walk to McAfee and singles by Francisco Urbaez and Victor Ruiz. But Jacob Hurtubise struck out and Michael Siani lined out to shortstop to end the threat.
After Quad Cities increased their lead to 2-0, the Dragons responded in the bottom of the seventh, the final scheduled inning. Miguel Hernandez singled to start the inning and went to second on a hit by Urbaez. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, and Victor Ruiz grounded out to drive in Hernandez to make it 2-1 as Urbaez went to third. After Hurtubise was hit by a pitch, Siani popped out to shortstop for the second out. Hurtubise stole second to put the potential winning run in scoring position with Urbaez holding at third, but Juan Martinez struck out looking to end the game.
The Dragons (13-10) fell to second place in the East Division, one-half game behind West Michigan, who won their sixth straight game on Saturday night. Quad Cities is 15-7, still in first place in the West.
The Dragons host Quad Cities on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark in the last game of the six-game series. Graham Ashcraft (1-1, 5.74) will start for the Dragons against Asa Lacey (1-1, 4.15).
Sunday’s game will be televised on Dayton’s CW (Spectrum Cable channel 13 or 1013). All Dragons games can be heard on radio on WONE 980 AM or via the Dragons Mobile App.