Callihan leads Dragons to sixth straight win

Tyler Callihan collected four hits, including a long home run, to lead the Dayton Dragons to their sixth straight win -- 9-4 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday night at Day Air Ballpark.

The Dragons enjoyed their most productive first inning of the season, scoring five runs in the opening frame to take an early commanding lead.  Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Luis Rijo did not record an out before the Kernels went to the bullpen.  Rijo walked the first two batters before Tyler Callihan delivered a run-scoring single to get the scoring started.  After Rijo hit a batter and walked Austin Hendrick to force in the second run of the inning, he was replaced.  Two batters later, Justice Thompson drew a bases loaded walk, and Michael Trautwein followed with a two-run single to right field to make it 5-0.

In the second, Callihan blasted a 438-foot home run off the batter’s eye in center field to give the Dragons a 6-0 lead. The homer was Callihan’s second of the year.

Cedar Rapids scored one run in the fourth inning and three more in the top of the sixth to pull to within two at 6-4.  But the Dragons responded by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth when the first four batters of the inning reached base.  Noelvi Marte doubled to start the inning and Callihan singled to drive him in.  Callihan eventually scored on Michel Triana’s sacrifice fly to make it 8-4.

The Dragons closed out the scoring in the seventh, getting a run without a base hit as Callihan’s infield ground out brought in Jay Allen II from third to give the Dragons a 9-4 lead.  It was Callihan’s fourth RBI of the night.

Dragons starting pitcher Javi Rivera worked the first four innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.  Rivera did not pitch the minimum five innings to qualify for the victory, which was awarded to reliever Dennis Boatman (3-2), who tossed two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with two strikeouts.