Brad Miller clubbed a first-inning homer and drove in four runs Friday as the South Bend Silver Hawks defeated the Dayton Dragons, 7-5, Friday to win their Midwest League first-round playoff series.
After dropping the first game at home, the Silver Hawks came back to win the next two.
The first four batters scored to begin the decisive game as Daniel Perales hit an RBI single and Miller crushed a 3-1 pitch from starter Anthony Gressick (0-1) over the left-field wall for a three-run shot.
"I knew it was gone as soon as it left the bat," Miller said. "Since Dayton is in the same division as us, we've seen basically everything they have, so that definitely helped me anticipate what could happen in certain situations.
"It just feels good to be able to know that you can step up in big situations and deliver when your team needs it."
Miller added an RBI double and scored in a three-run third to complete a stellar series. The 24-year-old first baseman went 6-for-12 with six RBIs and four runs scored. Perales chipped in three hits and scored twice.
Mark Romanczuk (1-0) gave up a hit and a walk with a strikeout in two shutout frames for the win. Jason Urquidez allowed a hit and fanned three in two scoreless innings for his first save. South Bend starter Eddie Romero surrendered four runs on seven hits and struck out four in four frames.
Gressick was charged with seven runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six in 2 1/3 innings.
Todd Frazier homered in the first and lifted a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the Dragons.
After losing the opener, Miller would like to see his team continue its road streak in the second round when the Silver Hawks face the West Michigan Whitecaps at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.
"[The win] was good tonight because it shows that we can win on the road when we have to," Miller said. "But we've played West Michigan tough all year long, and I think that we're definitely able to play a lot better in this Game 1 and not have to fight our way back."