DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dragons scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie and defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps, 7-4, in the opening game of a three-game series Thursday night at Fifth Third Field.
As the two teams squared off for the first time this season, the Dragons made a rude introduction by scoring one run in each of the first three innings. Meanwhile, Dayton (20-13) starter Ismael Guillon got off to a blazing start, striking out six of the first 12 batters he faced, allowing only one hit, picked up by Jake Bauers, who was then picked off.
Fort Wayne (13-20) starter Walker Weickel fell victim to his team’s defense, which committed four errors during his 4 1/3 innings on the hill. He left the game in the fifth having given up four runs, only one of which was earned.
The TinCaps had come back from the early 3-0 deficit to tie the game with a three-run top of the fifth inning. Dane Phillips and Jake Bauers both reached base with one out, and were driven in by Chase Jensen on a two-out, two-strike pitch which he stroked to right-center field. Jensen was later sent home on an RBI single from Mallex Smith.
Trailing, 4-3, the TinCaps, resilient in the early going, tied the game with an RBI double from Phillips in the sixth.
The tie score held until the bottom of the eighth, when Wilson Santos (0-1) gave up three runs, putting the Dragons in the lead for good. He followed Tony Rizzotti, who had pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Dayton’s Dan Langfield (2-0) earned the win.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Friday night at 7:07 p.m. The starters are Adrian De Horta for the TinCaps and Amir Garrett for the Dragons. The game can be heard on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.