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Dragons Snap South Bend's 10-Game Winning Streak
DAYTON — Dayton starting pitcher Jackson Stephens allowed just one hit over five shutout innings as the Dragons held off the South Bend Silver Hawks 5-4 at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday night. The win was the Dragons seventh in the last eight games and snapped South Bend’s 10-game winning streak.
Stephens (2-0) did not allow a hit until Breland Almadova lined a single to center with two outs in the fifth inning. He struck out eight and walked four to earn the win, leaving with a 4-0 lead.
Dragons reliever Alejandro Chacin earned his eighth save with a scoreless ninth inning to preserve a one-run lead. Chacin allowed a lead-off single in the ninth but struck out the next three to end the game.
The Dragons took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Jamodrick McGruder tripled off the right field fence and scored on Carlton Daal’s ground out to shortstop to make it 1-0. The Dragons added three more runs in the fourth, keyed by Joe Hudson’s run-scoring single and an RBI double by Avain Rachal.
South Bend scored three runs in the sixth to pull to within one, taking advantage of two Dragons errors and three walks in the inning to make it 4-3.
The Dragons scored an unusual run in the seventh that turned out to have a major impact on the game. Jonathan Reynoso singled to start the inning, went to second when Gabriel Rosa walked, as stole third. Two outs later with Reynoso still on third, the Silver Hawks elected to intentionally walk Jack Hannahan, the Major League infielder on an injury rehabilitation assignment. But the first pitch to Hannahan went to the backstop and Reynoso scored to make it 5-3. South Bend’s Zach Esquerra belted a solo home run in the eighth to make it 5-4.
The Dragons collected eight hits in the game. Hudson and Reynoso each had two.
The Dragons (10-9) host the Silver Hawks (13-6) on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in the final game of the series. Amir Garrett (3-4, 4.00) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Blayne Weller (4-4, 4.52).
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