Midland, MICHIGAN —Jacob Amaya’s two-run double to the fence in right-center field with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Great Lakes Loons to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Friday night. The game was the start to a three-game series that will close out the first half.
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the ninth before the Loons forced extra innings. Then Dayton took a 3-1 lead to the bottom of the 10th before Great Lakes scored three to win.
The outcome spoiled a tremendous performance by Dayton pitchers over the first eight innings. Starter Ricky Salinas allowed just three base runners over six shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Adrian Rodriguez followed Salinas and fired two scoreless innings to hold a 1-0 lead.
The Dragons scored the game’s only run over the first eight innings in the fifth when Bren Spillane walked, stole second, and scored on Brian Rey’s single.
In the bottom of the ninth, Great Lakes’ Niko Hulsizer led off the inning with a game-tying home run against Dragons reliever Eddy Demurias to make it 1-1. It was Hulsizer’s 15th homer of the year, second most in the league. Great Lakes nearly won the game with two outs in the ninth when Leonel Valera lined a double to right field with a runner at first, but Dayton second baseman Randy Ventura made a perfect relay throw to the plate and catcher Jay Schuyler applied the tag to prevent the winning from scoring.
The Dragons scored two runs in the top of the 10th, taking advantage of an error to bring in the first run and then adding an insurance run on Ventura’s RBI single to make it 3-1.
But Great Lakes collected two quick hits to start the bottom of the 10th against Demurias to run the score to 3-2 and had runners at first and second with no one out. Demurias got a big strikeout for the first out, but then fell behind Amaya 3-0. He came back to run the count full, but Amaya drilled a 3-2 pitch to the gap in right center to easily bring in both runners and end the game.
The Dragons finished with just four hits. Ventura was 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games. Michael Siani’s eight-game hitting streak ended with an 0 for 5 night.
Up Next: The Dragons (27-41) will meet the Loons (42-23) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Connor Curlis (2-1, 2.45) will start for the Dragons against Jose Martinez (4-1, 3.25).
On the Air: All Dragons games are broadcast on radio on Fox Sports 980 WONE AM. Games can be heard on smart phones, iPads, and other mobile devices via the free Dragons Mobile App, or on a computer at wone.com. Games are also available on HD Radio on 104.7 WTUI HD 2.
All Saturday and Sunday home games are televised on Dayton’s CW (channel 26; Spectrum cable channels 13 and 1013).