South Bend, INDIANA (WDTN ) – Four South Bend pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout as the Cubs defeated the Dayton Dragons 3-0 on Wednesday night. The two clubs have split the first two games of the series.
South Bend scored the only runs they would need in the first inning, getting a pair of two-out run-scoring singles from Chase Strumpf and Nelson Velazquez to take a 2-0 lead. There was no more scoring until South Bend plated one more run in bottom of the eighth to account for the final score.
The Dragons had chances to score, particularly in the early innings. They had runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings, but went 0 for 6 as a team in those situations. The Dragons had base runners in every inning except the ninth but did not push a man past first base after the fifth.
Brian Rey and Quincy McAfee each had two hits for Dayton. Rey’s double with one out in the first inning was the team’s only extra base hit. Rey lifted his league-leading batting average to .447 by going 2 for 3 with a walk. In the seventh inning, he came to the plate with one man on base and the Dragons trailing 2-0 and hit a ball to the fence in center field that was caught, the only time he was retired in the game.
Dragons starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft (1-1) settled down after a rough first inning when he was on the verge of being removed from the game due to a high pitch count. He finished the night with five innings of work, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts but was charged with the loss.
Johnnie Schneider replaced Ashcraft to start the sixth and tossed two scoreless innings, allowing no hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Karsen Lindell worked one inning, allowing a run while striking out three.
The loss dropped the Dragons (9-5) out of a first place tie with Lake County, who defeated Great Lakes on Wednesday night. The Dragons had held at least a share of first place after the first 13 games of the season.
The Dragons will battle the Cubs (5-8) in South Bend on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Spencer Stockton (2-0, 0.00) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Derek Casey (1-1, 4.50). The game can be heard on radio on WONE 980 AM or via the Dragons Mobile App.