April 7, 2012
Click Here to see the Box Score
West Michigan (R-H-E): 5-11-2
Dayton (R-H-E): 4-11-3
WP: Tyler White (1-0)
LP: Dan Jensen (0-1)
HR: Dayton: Sean Buckley (1st, 0 on base in sixth inning).
HR: West Michigan: Dean Green (1st, 0 on base in eighth inning).
Dayton, Ohio-Chad Wright's two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the 11th inning broke a 4-4 tie and lifted the West Michigan Whitecaps to a 5-4 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Saturday night. The win allowed the Whitecaps to salvage a single victory in the three-game series.
Dayton built a 4-1 lead over the first six innings, but West Michigan battled back with two runs in the seventh to pull to within one. Dean Green drilled a solo home run for West Michigan in the eighth to tie the game.
The Dragons had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with the score still tied at 4-4 when James Ewing doubled to center field to start the inning. But Ewing was stranded at third and the game went to extra innings.
In the West Michigan half of the 11th, Dayton catcher Yovan Gonzalez misplayed a high popup in front of home plate for an error to start the inning. Three batters later, with two outs and runners at first and second, the Whitecaps cashed in on the mistake when Wright singled to right to drive in Jason Krizan and break the tie.
The Dragons got singles from Danny Visioso and James Ewing to start the bottom of the 11th, but Gonzalez bunted into a double play and after Theo Bowe walked, Jefry Sierra struck out to end the game.
For the second straight night, West Michigan scored in the top of the first inning. Aaron Westlake drilled a two-out double to the gap in left-center field to bring in Dean Green from first base to make it 1-0.
But the Dragons answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Sierra reached on an infield single, stole second, and scored on Ryan Wright's double over the head of the right fielder to tie the game. Wright eventually scored on Sean Buckley's two-out single to right to give Dayton a 2-1 lead. Steve Selsky's infield ground out brought in a run for Dayton in the third, and Buckley drilled a home run to left field for the Dragons in the sixth to make it 4-1.
Dragons starting pitcher Tanner Robles worked the first six innings for Dayton and was outstanding. Robles, who struggled to throw strikes with the Dragons in 2011, was greatly improved in his first start of 2012, allowing just four hits and one run with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Dan Jensen (0-1) allowed the unearned run in the 11th in his only inning of work to suffer the loss.
The Dragons collected 11 hits. Ewing had three hits in his first professional game since the 2009 season. Buckley had two hits including the team's first homer of the year.
The Dragons do not play on Sunday. They open a three-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts at Fifth Third Field on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Stalin Gerson, who went 6-2 with a 3.41 earned run average in 12 starts for the Dragons in 2011, will make the start for Dayton. Left-hander Justin Nicolino (5-1, 1.03 with short-season Vancouver in 2011) will start for Lansing. The series continues in Dayton Tuesday and Wednesday.