Dayton, Ohio — Jack Rogers drilled a line drive to the fence in left-center to drive in Cade Hunter from first base with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Beloit Sky Carp 5-4 on Tuesday night.
The Dragons earned their third walk-off victory of the season in their second in their last two home games. A crowd of 7,792 was in attendance at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.
The Dragons battled back from a 4-0 deficit to win and remain in a tie with Fort Wayne for first place in the Midwest League East Division.
Beloit scored a pair of runs in the second inning and added two more in the fifth to lead 4-0. The Dragons started back in the bottom of the fifth on Mat Nelson’s solo home run, his 13th homer of the year, to make it 4-1.
The Dragons scored again in the sixth when Jay Allen II reached on a bunt single and scored from first on Edwin Arroyo’s double to the right field corner to make it 4-2.
In the eighth, the Dragons came all the way back to tie the game. Arroyo walked with one out and scored from first on Austin Hendrick’s two-out double off the fence in left-center field to make it 4-3. The next batter, Ruben Ibarra hit a slow tapper in front of the plate, but the Beloit pitcher and catcher collided as they attempted to make a play on the ball, allowing Ibarra to be safe at first and Hendrick to score to tie the game at 4-4.
In the bottom of the ninth with one out, Hunter lined a hard shot toward right field, causing the Beloit outfielder to initially go back before racing in, but the ball fell in front of him for a hit and the winning run was on base. The next batter, Rogers, lined a hit over shortstop, and the ball bounced through gap in left center field all the way to the fence as Hunter raced around the bases, easily beating the throw to the plate to end the game.
“I was just looking for something to hit,” said Rogers. “Big emotions there at the end…just trying to stay under control and put a good swing on it.”
“We’re clicking on all cylinders,” Rogers added. “I think all of our guys are bought in. Just give it to the next guy. I was able put a good swing on the ball.”
Dragons relievers Jayvien Sandridge and Dennis Boatman combined for three scoreless innings, retiring nine of the last 10 Beloit batters. Boatman (1-3) worked a perfect top of the ninth to earn the win.
The Dragons finished with nine hits. Nelson was 2 for 4 with the home run. Eight of the nine Dayton starters had at least one hit.
Notes: The Dragons (18-13, 51-46) climbed to five games above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Up Next: The Dragons host Beloit again on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. in the second game of the six-game series at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District. Chris McElvain (0-1, 6.38) is scheduled to start for Dayton.