DAYTON, OH - After nine consecutive losses to the Lansing Lugnuts in 2018, the Dayton Dragons (28-26) rallied in both the bottom of the ninth and the tenth to defeat the Lugnuts (36-20), 5-4, on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Shannon on Saturday night at Fifth Third Field.
The score was tied 1-1 through eight innings, setting up two dramatic final frames.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Dayton reliever Wendolyn Bautista was called for a quick pitch on a two-strike delivery to Brandon Grudzielanek . Grudzielanek then singled, stole second, and scored on a Brock Lundquist triple for a 2-1 Lugnuts lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, however, Stuart Fairchild led off against reliever Emerson Jimenez with his fifth home run of the season, knotting the score at 2-2.
The Lugnuts took the lead again in the top of the tenth, thanks to a Kevin Vicuña two-out, two-run single against Cory Thompson (Win, 3-1).
The Dragons had the answer. Jose Garcia dropped a double down the right-field line against Shannon (Loss, 2-2), moving bonus runner Leandro Santana to third. Shannon struck out Jeter Downs, but Andy Sugilio tied the game with a two-run single, taking second on the throw home. Michael Beltre was intentionally walked and then a passed ball moved Sugilio to third and Beltre to second. Shannon struck out the dangerous Fairchild for the second out. Facing Montrell Marshall, Shannon bounced a 2-2 slider that hopped away from catcher Matt Morgan to the right, bringing in Sugilio with the winning run.
In defeat, Cullen Large homered for the third time this season, Chavez Young went 3-for-5 with an outfield assist at home plate and starter Matt Gunter tossed 4 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run while walking two and striking out one.
The two teams have split the first two games of the series. Sunday is the rubber match, with first pitch at 2:07 p.m. between Lansing right-hander Maverik Buffo (3.99 ERA), looking for his league-leading eighth win, and Dayton right-hander Hunter Greene (7.18), the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft.
Following their current 13-game road trip, the Lugnuts return to Cooley Law School Stadium on Friday, June 15th, opening a three-game series against South Bend featuring Family Faith Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 15th, Star Wars Night with LAFCU Fireworks on June 16th, and a Father's Day Delta Dental Kids Day with a special Jersey Giveaway on June 17th. To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.