Lugnuts Score 4 in 9th to Edge Dragons, 9-8

By Tom Nichols | May 23, 2012 1:50 PM ET

Lansing 9, Dragons 8

May 23, 2012

Click Here to see the Box Score

Dayton (R-H-E): 8-16-2
Lansing (R-H-E): 9-11-1

WP: Blake McFarland (3-1)
LP: Carlos Contreras (0-1)
Sv: None

HR: Dayton: None
HR: Lansing: None

Lansing, Mich.-Carlos Perez doubled to the left-center field fence with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Lansing Lugnuts to a come-from-behind 9-8 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Wednesday night. The Dragons took an 8-5 lead to the ninth inning before Lansing rallied to score four times and win the game.

The Dragons collected a season-high 16 hits against the league's best pitching staff and battled back from a 5-3 deficit in the eighth inning to score five runs and take a three-run lead to the ninth.

Dragons reliever Carlos Contreras (0-1) entered the game to start the bottom of the ninth and walked three of the first four hitters he faced to load the bases with one out. Kenny Wilson's single to left field brought in one run and made it 8-6. Contreras struck out Kellen Sweeney for the second out, but then hit Jon Berti with a pitch to force in a run and make it 8-7. Perez followed with a high drive over the head of Dragons center fielder Kurtis Muller to end the game.

The Dragons initially took the lead in the second inning when the first four batters of the frame collected line drive singles. After hits by Ryan Wright, Kyle Waldrop, and Nick O'Shea loaded the bases, Sean Buckley singled to left to drive in two and make it 2-0. Dayton scored again in the fifth when Muller doubled, stole third, and scored on Joe Terry's sacrifice fly to give Dayton a 3-0 lead.

Lansing responded with one run in the fifth, two in the sixth, and two in the seventh to take a 5-3 lead.

Dayton's Joe Terry doubled with one out in the eighth and Steve Selsky was hit by a pitch. Ryan Wright doubled to the left field corner to bring in both runners and tie the game. Nick O'Shea then singled to right to bring in Wright and make it 6-5. Sean Buckley doubled off the center field fence to drive in Wright, and Buckley scored on Brandon Dailey's single up the middle to give the Dragons an 8-5 lead.

Dragons starting pitcher Jacob Johnson worked the first five innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run with two walks and three strikeouts. He left the game with a 3-1 lead and lowered his earned run average over his first two starts with the Dragons to 0.90.

The Dragons offensive attack was well-balanced. Terry was 3 for 4 to lead the way. Muller, Selsky, Wright, Waldrop, O'Shea, and Buckley each had two hits. Buckley's three runs batted in led the club.

The Dragons (17-29) play at Lansing (32-13) again Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in the second game of the series. Centerville's Dan Jensen (2-3, 2.43) will start for Dayton against Lansing's David Rollins (3-0, 2.75). The Dragons next home game is Wednesday, May 30 vs. South Bend.

Notes: Wright extended his hitting streak to six straight games. He is batting .542 over the hitting streak (13 for 24) to raise his average to .303...Muller is 5 for 9 in his first two games with the Dragons...Buckley has two hits including at least one extra base hit in three straight games.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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