SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- The Dayton Dragons (12-7) salvaged the last game of a four game series with the South Bend Silver Hawks (12-8) on a windy Thursday night at Four Winds Field with a 3-1 victory.
The Dragons used a three-run seventh to back up a strong start by Amir Garrett and capitalized on the Hawks’ inability to hit with men in scoring position (0-9) to take the final game of the series. Braden Shipley (L, 1-1) was the hard-luck loser, allowing just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed as the Hawks had their eight-game winning streak brought to an end.
South Bend, Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, got on the scoreboard first in the third inning. With one out, second baseman Jamie Westbrook lined a double to the left field corner. Then, during right fielder Stryker Trahan’s at bat, a wild pitch moved Westbrook over to third. Trahan walked and then, after another free pass to third baseman Joe Munoz, Westbrook scored on Garrett’s second wild pitch of the inning, putting the Hawks ahead 1-0.
Thanks to six plus innings of dominant pitching by Shipley, the Hawks held on to a 1-0 lead going into the top of the seventh inning. Shipley faced the minimum through six innings until he gave up his first hit of the night in the seventh. Center fielder Beau Amaral led off the top of the seventh with a triple to left-center field. Right fielder Jeff Gelalich followed with a ground ball to Hawks first baseman Daniel Palka. Palka fielded the ball but dropped the ball as he looked to freeze Amaral at third. The E-3 fielding allowed Gelalich to reach first, but kept Amaral at third. After third baseman Tanner Rahier popped out to short, first baseman Sebastian Elizalde knotted the game for the Dragons with his single to shallow right field allowing Amaral to score and moving Gelalich to second. A wild pitch then advanced him to third. Left fielder Phillip Ervin followed with a ground ball to short. Shortstop Andrew Velazquez fielded the ball and fired home, but his throw was tardy as Gelalich had already crossed the plate with Elizalde advancing to third. This brought Shipley’s night to a close and Jose Jose entered in relief. During Sean Buckley’s at bat, Ervin took off for second. Hawks catcher Michael Perez attempted to catch Ervin at second, but his low throw escaped Westbrook at second. Elizalde came scampered home on the E-2 throwing, giving the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
After taking a 3-1 lead in the seventh, the Dayton Dragons, Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, kept the Hawks off the scoreboard. South Bend threatened in the seventh, but right fielder Stryker Trahan was stranded at third. Relievers Alejandro Chacin (W, 3-0) and Scott Brattvett (S, 3) combined to toss four shutout innings.
The Hawks welcome in the Lake County Captains (5-15), the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, for a three-game series beginning on Friday night. First pitch is slated for 7:35pm. Luis Lugo (0-3, 9.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Captains while Blake Perry (0-1, 7.24 ERA) gets the ball for the Silver Hawks. It is another Fireworks Friday at Four Winds Field so stick around after the game for a spectacular fireworks show.