FORT WAYNE, Ind. – TinCaps left fielder Nate Easley had three hard-hit singles on Saturday night at Parkview Field, but Fort Wayne lost Game 1 of the Eastern Division Championship Series to the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds), 2-1.
Dayton scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning. Randy Ventura singled to begin the inning and then stole second base. Later in the inning, Taylor Trammell singled to left field, scoring Ventura to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
Fort Wayne tied the game in the bottom of the third inning. Easley led off with a single. Easley moved to second base on a wild pitch and then tagged up and advanced to third on a fly out to center field by first baseman Kyle Overstreet. Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. then grounded a ball to Dayton shortstop Carlos Rivero, whose throw to first base was high and allowed Greene to reach first safely and Easley to score, knotting the game up, 1-1.
The decisive run for the Dragons came in the eighth inning. With Trammell at first base, Jose Siri at second, and one out, Bruce Yari grounded a ball to TinCaps shortstop Gabriel Arias. Arias fielded the ball and touched second base for the second out of the inning, but his throw to first was errant and allowed Siri to score, giving Dayton a 2-1 advantage.
TinCaps starting pitcher Adrian Morejon struck out five batters and allowed just one run in six innings on the mound. Reliever Dauris Valdez (L) pitched a one-two-three seventh inning and retired the first batter in the eighth inning before allowing back-to-back base runners and being replaced by Andres Munoz. Munoz induced the ground ball that led to the Arias throwing error. In total, Munoz struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings of relief work.
Dayton starting pitcher Wennington Romero utilized his curveball that Fort Wayne had trouble hitting which led to eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Romero allowed just one unearned run and didn’t walk anyone. Dragons relief pitcher Jesse Stallings allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings on the mound, and Dauri Moreta pitched a one-two-three bottom of the ninth inning with two strikeouts to end the game.
Fort Wayne went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
The TinCaps and Dragons continue the best-of-three Eastern Division Championship Series in Dayton on Sunday for Game 2. If necessary, Game 3 will also be played at Dayton on Monday.
Sunday, September 10 at Dayton (7:00 p.m.)
– TinCaps Probable Starter: RH Reggie Lawson (5.30)
– Dragons Probable Starter: RH Matt Blandino (5.48)
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