Record Crowd Sees Votto HR, But Dragons Lose

By Tom Nichols | June 20, 2009 7:14 PM

WEST MICHIGAN 8, DAYTON 7

West Michigan (R-H-E): 8-11-2
Dayton (R-H-E): 7-15-0

Winning Pitcher: Mark Sorensen (2-2);
Losing Pitcher: Curtis Partch (4-6);
Save: Tyler Stohr (13)

Home Runs:
Dayton: Joey Votto (1st, 1 on base in first inning); Kyle Day (3rd, 0 on base in second inning).
West Michigan: Brent Wyatt (3rd, 1 on base in fifth inning); Billy Nowlin (6th, 1 on base in seventh inning).

Dayton, Ohio-A Fifth Third Field record crowd of 9,507 saw Reds first baseman Joey Votto blast a home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning but the West Michigan Whitecaps prevailed as they defeated the Dayton Dragons 8-7 on Saturday night. Votto, on a major league rehabilitation assignment, went 2 for 4 with the two-run homer and two runs scored for Dayton.

Votto's home run, a long blast beyond the right field fence, came after Kevin Coddington singled in the first inning to give Dayton a 2-0 lead. Dayton's Kyle Day homered to right in the second to make it 3-0.

But West Michigan started back in the third inning against Dragons starting pitcher Curtis Partch (4-6). They scored twice in the third on a two-out, two-run double by Ronnie Bourquin, and then scored four times against Partch in the fifth, keyed by a two-run homer by Brent Wyatt, to jump ahead 6-3.

Dayton scored in the fifth when Votto walked with one out and stole second. Carlos Mendez followed with a single to center, but Votto was thrown out at the plate as Mendez went to second. Byron Wiley followed with a double to right to bring in Mendez and make it 6-4.

West Michigan answered with a two-run home run by Billy Nowlin in the seventh against Steven Otterness to make it 8-4.

The Dragons came back in the bottom of the seventh when Votto singled with two outs and scored on Mendez's double to the left field corner. Mendez scored on Wiley's single to make it 8-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Dave Sappelt started the inning with an infield single, went to second on a wild pitch, and to third on an error. With two outs, Sappelt scored on another wild pitch to make it 8-7. Mendez walked and Wiley singled to right, moving the tying run to third. But Cody Puckett struck out to end the game.

Partch allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings to suffer the loss. He walked three and struck out three.

The Dragons finished with 15 hits. Mendez went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Sappelt, Coddington, and Puckett joined Votto with two hits.

The Dragons (27-41) host the Whitecaps (42-26) at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday at Fifth Third Field. Lance Janke (2-3, 3.48) will start for the Dragons against Luke Putkonen (4-3, 4.05).

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

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