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Loons Pitching Dismantles Dayton Offense and Win in Eleven Innings

Great Lakes strikes out 16 batters; Dayton strands tying run at third base
June 10, 2022

On Friday at Day Air Ballpark in Dayton, Ohio, The Great Lakes Loons were looking to secure a series split early after sweeping a double-header the day before. The Dayton Dragons haven’t lost a single series in the 2022 season and were looking to tie the series up at two

On Friday at Day Air Ballpark in Dayton, Ohio, The Great Lakes Loons were looking to secure a series split early after sweeping a double-header the day before.

The Dayton Dragons haven’t lost a single series in the 2022 season and were looking to tie the series up at two games apiece.

A game that had five runs in the first three innings saw extra innings. Braydon Fisher (W, 1-1) would strike out five of the six batters he faced as the Loons won 4-3 in the eleventh.

The Dragons (36-18) took the first lead of the game in the bottom of the second. Dayton loaded the bases with nobody out with two singles and a walk. That’s when Garrett Wolforth reached on a run-scoring fielder’s choice where the Loons got the force-out at second base. Another walk would load the bases again before Jonathan Willems doubled the lead with an RBI single making it 2-0.

Great Lakes (31-24) wouldn’t let that lead sit for too long though. In the top of the third, Imanol Vargas and Ryan January would walk to lead off the inning. They would both score on an Ismael Alcantara single aided by an error by center fielder Allan Cerda. This would tie the game up 2-2, but that would only last for one more batter. Jorbit Vivas two pitches later would double home Alcantara for his 27th RBI of the season and would give the Loons a 3-2 lead. A couple more baserunners would make all three runs earned against Dragons starter Connor Phillips (3-2).

Dayton, the High-A partner of the Cincinnati Reds, would then go scoreless in the next three innings against Loons starter Lael Lockhart (1-0). The Dragons would get a few baserunners against Lockhart though. A couple of singles in the fourth were stranded. Then, an error in the fifth was then erased by good defense by Great Lakes. A line drive off the bat of Matheu Nelson and Vivas snagged it at second and his throw to first beat Justice Thompson back to the bag. Lockhart would exit the ball game after five innings pitched. He allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits and two walks. Lockhart struck out three and picked off one runner.

The Loons, High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had their bats cool down as well. Phillips matched Lockhart with five innings of work. However, he would allow three runs, all earned, on four hits and four walks. Phillips would strikeout six Great Lakes batters.

Manuel Cachutt was the first reliever to enter the game as he took to the mound in the top of the sixth. He would walk one Loon and hit one in his first inning on the mound, but both would be left on base. Cachutt would deal a clean top of the seventh and would help keep Dayton just one run away throughout the middle part of the game.

Antonio Knowles replaced Lockhart in the bottom half of the sixth, where he had a chance to strike out four batters. After dispatching the first Dragon of the inning, Alex McGarry would reach on a dropped third strike. Knowles would strike out three in the inning but Cerda would pop out for the second out.

Knowles would get into a bit of trouble in the seventh. A lead-off single and a wild pitch would put the tying run at second base with no outs. Knowles would strikeout the next batter and get a ground ball that wouldn’t advance the runner before handing the ball over to Adam Scoggins. An infield single by Elly De La Cruz to start the outing for Scoggins would increase the intensity of the inning. Both De La Cruz and Willems would take off on a pitch that would get passed Diego Cartaya and it would tie up the game 3-3.

Scoggins would have even more trouble in the eighth with a lead-off walk and single to put the go-ahead runner at second with no outs. Cole Duensing would enter to try to keep the game tied. A sacrifice bunt by Wolforth put both runners in scoring position, but, Duensing would strike out the next two batters to leave them there.

Donovan Benoit (L, 1-1) would enter in the ninth for Dayton and pitch a clean inning including a pitch clock strikeout. The Dragons would head to the bottom half of the inning with the chance to walk it off. Duensing would strike out two as he would set down the first six that he faced and send it to extras.

Dayton had all the momentum after a rare two-batter inning defensively in the top of the tenth and started with the winning run at second base. Fisher would don the mound and strike out two and get a fly out to force an eleventh inning.

Cartaya would move Leonard to third to start the inning. Jose Ramos would then drive him in with an RBI single and give Great Lakes a 4-3 lead.

On the first pitch of the bottom of the eleventh, the tying runner would move to third on a wild pitch. Fisher would bear down though and strike out the side to secure the 4-3 victory.

The Loons take a 3-1 series lead guaranteeing that Dayton will not win a series for the second time this season. Great Lakes will look for the win a day early as the series continues Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. The Dragons still hold a 5 ½ game lead over the Loons in the standings with only 11 games remaining in the first half. A chance for the Dragons to lose their first series of the season Saturday as Great Lakes will have Kyle Hurt (4-1, 3.04 ERA) and Dayton will throw Christian Roa (1-1, 3.94 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:09 pm with the Loons On-Deck Circle, driven by Garber Chevrolet Midland, kicking off pregame coverage at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN 100.9 FM

The Great Lakes Loons have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit