TinCaps edge Dragons with walk off win

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Dwanya Williams-Sutton double to right-center field to bring in the winning run from second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Fort Wayne TinCaps a 5-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Tuesday night.  The TinCaps have won the first two games of the four-game set.

The game featured a dramatic final two innings as Dayton led 2-0, fell behind 4-2, came back to tie the game in the top of the ninth, and had an opportunity to take the lead before Fort Wayne scored to win in the bottom of the final inning.

Fort Wayne’s Luis Almanzar hit a grand slam home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to give the TinCaps a 4-2 lead after the Dragons had led since the fourth inning.

In the top of the ninth, Dayton’s Pabel Manzanero led off with a single to center field, and Bren Spillane followed with a game-tying line drive home run to left to make it 4-4.  The Dragons then loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Jay Schuyler, a single by Juan Martinez, and a walk to Shard Munroe.  But Michael Siani and Jonathan Willems were strikeout victims as Fort Wayne escaped further trouble to keep the game tied.

In the bottom of the ninth, Xavier Edwards reached on a one-out throwing error by Dayton shortstop Miguel Hernandez, and Edwards advanced to second on a ground out.  Williams-Sutton followed with a long, high drive to right-center field that fell near the warning track to bring in Edwards and end the game.

The Dragons broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Mariel Baustista was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second, and scored on Bren Spillane’s two-out single to center field.  In the fifth, the Dragons scored again when Jay Schuyler lined a single to left to start the inning, advanced around to third on a pair of infield ground outs, and scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

Dragons starting pitcher Jared Solomon and the first man out of the bullpen, Alexis Diaz were exceptional.  Solomon struck out seven batters over four scoreless innings, allowing four hits.  Diaz retired all six batters he faced, getting four strikeouts.  Reliever Julio Pinto allowed four runs in two innings of work, and Connor Bennett (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up the unearned run in the ninth.

The Dragons finished the night with seven hits.  Spillane and Manzanero each had two.

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