A three hit performance by first baseman Rudy Flores pushed the Silver Hawks to a 5-4 victory and the Midwest League Eastern Division crown for the first half of the season. Flores went three for four on the night, and accounted for three of the Hawks RBI. His solo homerun to left in the bottom of the eighth was the deciding run, as it put the Hawks ahead.
The Dayton Dragons, Class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, jumped on Hawks starter Jesse Darrah early in the first as he struggled with his control. Right fielder Beau Amaral and designated hitter Joe Terry both walked to setup third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean’s three run homer to left, giving the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
South Bend struck back in the bottom of the frame. Rightfielder Socrates Brito drew a two out walk. Third baseman Brandon Drury then brought Brito home on his double to right center. The rally continued as Flores followed with a double of his own, bringing Drury home to close the gap to 3-2.
Dayton padded their lead in the second, as shortstop Zach Vincej doubled to the left field corner to start the rally. Amaral followed with a single back up the middle, allowing Vincej to advance to third. Second baseman Sammy Diaz made the score 4-2 Dayton with his sacrifice fly to right, bringing Vincej home.
The South Bend Silver Hawks, Class-A affiliate of the National League West leading Arizona Diamondbacks, evened the score in the third. Center fielder Breland Almadova led off with an infield single to third. After advancing to second on a 4-3 groundout by Brito, he moved up 90 feet on Drury’s single to left. Flores’s bat remained hot as he singled to right to plate Almadova and propelled Drury to third.
Designated hitter Fidel Pena added another run as his single to center scored Drury to knot the score at 4-4.
After Hawks reliever Enrique Garcia (3-0) held the Dragons in the eighth, Flores stepped into the box with the game still tied at 4-4. After watching two straight balls, he took Dayton reliever Jesus Adames (1-1) deep, belting a homerun off the scoreboard beyond the rightfield wall. RJ Hively (S, 18) entered in the ninth for the Hawks and shut the door on the Dragons to pick up his Midwest League leading 18th save and allowing the postgame celebrations to begin.
The Silver Hawks wrap up the first half of the regular season tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. Ismael Guillon (2-6, 6.71) takes the mound for Dayton. Daniel Watts (8-3, 3.74), gets the start for South Bend. Father's Day is Family Day at the Cove. Enjoy a pre-game catch on the field and post-game autographs from the Silver Hawks’ players. Remind your pop to make an early tee time Sunday morning as the first 500 dads through the gates will receive a sleeve of Silver Hawks golf balls.