EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Dayton Dragons broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the 11th inning before Dayton reliever Vin Timpanelli pitched out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the 11th to preserve a 4-1 Dayton victory over the Lake County Captains. The two clubs have split the first two games of a big six-game series.
Lake County’s Christian Cairo led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run before Dayton pitchers shutout the Captains over the rest of the day. Dayton’s James Free hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to tie the score as the game eventually went to extra innings.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Dayton’s Jack Rogers broke the 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the top of the 11th. Ivan Johnson added a run-scoring single later in the inning, and Jonathan Willems delivered a hit to drive in the third run of the inning.
In the bottom of the 11th, Timpanelli entered the game with the tying runs on base and no outs. He recorded a strikeout, a foul pop out to the catcher, and another strikeout to end the game and earn his third save.
The victory went to Dragons reliever Stevie Branche (2-0), who pitched out of a jam with a runner at third base and one out in the 10th to keep the game alive before allowing a pair of walks to load the bases with no outs in the 11th and giving way to Timpanelli.
Dragons starting pitcher Christian Roa went seven innings, matching the Dragons team high for the 2021 season. He allowed just one run on the lead-off homer by Cairo, surrendering five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Francis Peguero tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Roa.
Free was 2 for 4 with his third homer of the year to lead an eight-hit Dayton attack.
The win snapped a three-game Dragons losing streak and allowed them to stay in the playoff chase with just 10 games to play. The began the day four games behind Great Lakes in the race for the #2 seed in the playoffs. Great Lakes plays at West Michigan tonight. The Dragons would win the tie-breaker over Great Lakes.
Up Next: The Dragons (57-53) will meet Lake County (59-51) on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. in the third game of the six-game series. Bryce Bonnin (0-1, 5.14) will start for the Dragons against Lake County’s Xzavion Curry (5-1, 2.39).