DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Dragons (36-32) avoided the sweep on the final day of the first half of the 2014 Midwest League season with a walk-off win over the Lake County Captains (27-43) 3-2 in 11 innings on Sunday. The Captains completed the first half with a 27-43 record and a 6-3 record in extra-innings.
Dragons’ left fielder Jon Matthews salvaged the series finale with the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eleventh inning, scoring first baseman Daniel Pigott from second.
The game was scoreless until the third inning when Lake County took a 1-0 lead. The Captains gained the lead with a solo homerun off the bat of centerfielder Clint Frazier. Frazier now has four homers on the year, including two in the last week.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Dragons tied the game and gained the lead with two runs. Catcher Brandon Dailey tied the game with his third homerun of the season. Shortstop Carlton Daal then singled to short. Daal stole second and third base before crossing the plate on a RBI single by right fielder Jeff Gelalich. Dayton held a 2-1 lead after three innings.
Layne Somsen made his first start of the year for Dayton and he lasted four innings. He gave up one run on four hits in four innings with five strikeouts. Ryan Kemp entered for the fifth inning.
The Captains tied the game with a run against Kemp in the fifth. Third baseman Grant Fink singled but was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of right fielder Cody Ferrell. Designated hitter Logan Vick moved Ferrell to third with a two-out single. Kemp threw a pitch to the backstop, bringing Ferrell home from third.
Mitch Brown closed out the first half with his second consecutive solid start. Brown allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and fanned five before giving way to Trevor Frank.
The bullpens fought to keep the game scoreless over the last five innings. For the Captains, Trevor Frank threw a scoreless inning while Ben Heller pitched two hitless innings. Southpaw Wander Beras held the Dragons scoreless in the tenth before allowing the game-winning run in the eleventh.
On the home side, Kemp finished with one run allowed in three innings of work. Alejandro Chacin only allowed two walks in three scoreless innings. Nolan Becker picked up the win with a scoreless eleventh.
In the eleventh, designated hitter Phil Ervin reached on a catcher’s interference call. Ervin was out on a fielder’s choice by Pigott. A groundout by third baseman Avain Rachal moved Pigott to second and set the stage for Matthews to end the first half.
Beras took the loss with one unearned run given up in one and two thirds innings. He fell to 2-2 on the year.
Lake County outhit Dayton 7-6 in the finale. Catcher Eric Haase had two hits while five other players had a hit. Frazier had the only RBI in the game, giving him 19 runs batted in on the year.
The Captains will resume the 2014 season on Thursday night at home against the first half wild-card, the South Bend Silver Hawks.