Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 l Game 1, East Division Championship Series
Parkview Field l Fort Wayne, Ind. l 7:05 p.m.
Radio: Fox Sports 980 WONE
Dayton Dragons (71-69) at Fort Wayne TinCaps (68-72)
LH Wennington Romero (5-10, 5.10) vs. LH Adrian Morejon (1-2, 4.23)
Click here for today's complete Press Box Notes packet.
Today's Game: The Dayton Dragons (affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) meet the Fort Wayne TinCaps (affiliate of the San Diego Padres) in the first game of the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series. This is a best-of-three series. The winner of this series will advance to the league championship series. This series will move to Dayton for games Sunday and (if necessary) Monday nights.
Regular Season Series: Dayton 7, Fort Wayne 7 (in Fort Wayne: TinCaps 6, Dragons 1). Note: Home team won 12 of the 14 meetings during the regular season.
Reaching this Series: The Dragons advanced to this round of the playoffs (2nd round, MWL Semi-Finals) by defeating West Michigan in the first round, 2 games to 1. Fort Wayne advanced by defeating Bowling Green, 2 games to 0. This is the fourth time in Dragons history that the club has reached the second round of the playoffs and the first time since 2008. The Dragons have never won a second round series.
Reaching the Playoffs: The Dragons earned the first half Midwest League East Division wildcard spot by finishing in second place in the division. The Dragons are making their first playoff appearance since 2011 and entered the playoffs as a first half qualifier for the first time since 2007. The Dragons have made the playoffs as a first half qualifier two previous times in franchise history, in 2001 and 2007.
Red Hot Finish: The Dragons closed out the regular season by going 16-5 over their final 21 games. They won nine of their last 10 road games.
Last Game: Friday: Dayton 4, West Michigan 3 (11 innings). In an epic "elimination game" battle that last three hours, 50 minutes, Cassidy Brown scored from third base on a passed ball with one out in the top of the 11th inning to break a 3-3 tie, and Alex Webb pitched a perfect bottom half of the inning to close out a Dragons win and end the series. The Dragons held a 3-1 lead with two outs and the bases empty with West Michigan batting in the bottom of the ninth, but the Whitecaps rallied to score two runs on an error and tie the game. Webb pitched out of a jam in the 10th before the Dragons winning rally in the 11th.
- Michael Beltre is 6 for 12 in the playoffs after closing out the regular season by going 9 for 11 with three walks in the final series at Lansing. Over the last two sets including playoffs (six games), he is 15 for 23, .652.
- The Dragons have won seven straight road games (including playoffs) and 11 of their last 12 road games.
- Dragons pitchers posted a 1.24 ERA in the three-game series vs. West Michigan, allowing seven runs (four earned) in 29 innings. West Michigan batted just .189 as a team in the series, had just three extra base hits, and a .217 slugging percentage.
- The Dragons trailed for only one inning in the entire series with West Michigan (end of 9th Wednesday). The Dragons held the lead with two outs in the West Michigan half of the ninth inning in all three games (Whitecaps rallied to tie or lead two times).
Upcoming Probable Pitchers (Game times are Dayton time) (All games on WONE 980 AM and www.daytondragons.com)
Midwest League Eastern Division Playoffs (2nd Round)
Game 2: Sunday, Sept. 10 (7:00 p.m.): Fort Wayne RH Reggie Lawson (4-6, 5.30) at Dayton RH Matt Blandino (4-4, 5.38)
Game 3 (if necessary): Monday, Sept. 11 (7:00 p.m.): Fort Wayne TBA at Dayton RH Andrew Jordan (7-8, 4.66)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.