The Dayton Dragons swept a doubleheader over the South Bend Silver Hawks (24-15) on Saturday night in front of nearly 4,000 fans at Coveleski Regional Stadium. Dayton (16-26) took Game 1 by a score of 6-3 behind a four-hit, three-RBI game by designated hitter Joe Terry. The Dragons then won Game 2 by a 3-1 margin thanks to a three-run homerun by third baseman Tanner Rahier and a sterling performance from starting pitcher Wandy Peralta.
Game 1 of Saturday’s twi-night doubleheader resulted in a 6-3 win for the Dayton Dragons, the Class-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Dragons got on the board first with a run in the top of the third inning. With two outs, first baseman Seth Mejias-Brean singled to left field and advanced to second when Alex Glenn bobbled the ball in left. Dragons left fielder Jesse Winker followed with a single to shallow center that scored Mejias-Brean to give Dayton a 1-0 lead. The Dragons went on to load the bases in the inning, but Hawks starter Jesse Darrah (3-3) struck out second baseman Robert Ramirez to end the inning.
The bats of the Dayton Dragons continued to breathe fire in the fourth. Third baseman Tanner Rahier led off with a single to left center. Rahier quickly advanced to third as catcher Joe Hudson hit a double that flirted with the Dayton bullpen. Both Rahier and Hudson came around to score on designated hitter Joe Terry’s double to left center, extending the Dragons lead to 3-0. Terry moved up to third on Mejias-Brean’s high bouncing infield single to short and later came around to score on a 3-6 fielder’s choice by Winker, giving the Dragons a 4-0 lead.
South Bend, the Class-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, struck back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Second baseman Fidel Pena broke up the no-hitter with a lined shot off of Dayton starting pitcher Sal Romano (4-3) that ricocheted to the shortstop for an infield single. Right fielder Socrates Brito followed with a hard hit triple to deep right center, plating Pena for the Hawks’ first run of the game. The Hawks then closed the gap to 4-2 on a 3-1 groundout by third baseman Brandon Drury that scored Brito.
The Dragons stole a run in the top of the fifth with some aggressive baserunning and a critical Hawks error. Center fielder Junior Arias led off with an infield single to third. He went on to steal both second and third base in the inning. With two outs and Arias on third, Hudson hit a grounder that got through Hawks shortstop Pedro Ruiz, scoring Arias. South Bend got that run back in the bottom of the inning when new Hawks first baseman Rudy Flores, in his first Midwest League game, launched a homerun to left center to cut the lead to 5-3.
Despite threatening to rally twice in the late innings, the Hawks could not close the gap. Pena led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a single and Brito followed with a walk to put two on with nobody out. The Dragons went to the bullpen and brought in Ben Klimesh (S, 3) to face Drury. He induced a ground ball to third that resulted in a double play as Rahier stepped on third and threw to first for the second out. Glenn then struck out to end the inning.
After the Dragons picked up an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning, the Hawks managed to get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, catcher Steven Rodriguez singled to left and Ruiz walked, bringing up designated hitter Kevin Medrano as the tying run. Medrano hit the ball hard but right at the Dragons shortstop, who flipped the ball to second for the game-ending force out.
The Hawks went into the nightcap of the twin bill looking to avoid the sweep and took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Catcher Roidany Aguila led off with a double into the right center field gap. After a pair of groundouts to third left Aguila marooned at second base, Medrano walked and Aguila went to third as ball four got past Dragons catcher Wagner Gomez. Almadova then came up with a clutch two-out RBI single to center, scoring Aguila to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Hawks Come Up Short Against Dragons in Twin Bill
The Dragons were held scoreless by Hawks Rob Coe (0-1) through the first 5 innings but scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead. Mejias-Brean and right fielder Jeff Gelalich both singled to put runners at first and second with one out. After Arias popped out to the catcher, Rahier turned on a hanging 1-2 breaking ball from Coe and launched a three-run homerun down the left field line to give the Dragons a 3-1 lead.
Dayton starter Wandy Peralta (1-4) got his first win of the season as he surrendered four hits over 6 and 1/3 innings. Peralta allowed just the one run in the third inning. Alejandro Chacin (S, 1) came in to close the game out for the Dragons and retired the two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh inning. Coe also threw a complete game for the Silver Hawks but the one mistake to Rahier ended up being the difference in the ballgame.
The Hawks and Dragons continue their series tomorrow with a Sunday matinee. Robert Stephenson (2-3, 4.05 ERA) is scheduled to take the ball for the Dragons while Daniel Watts (6-0, 2.80 ERA) looks to defend his undefeated record for the Silver Hawks. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm. Pink at the Cove Weekend continues on Sunday so get here early as the first 500 women 18 and older will get a pink Silver Hawks replica jersey. It’s also Family Day with a pre-game catch on the field and a post-game autograph session with Silver Hawks players.