Clinton’s Jack Larsen belted a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning as the Lumber Kings battled back from a four-run deficit and defeated the Dayton Dragons 9-8 on Sunday afternoon. The loss snapped the Dragons six-game winning streak and ended their bid for a perfect road trip. They finished their six-game Western Division swing with a 5-1 record.
The Dragons led 8-4 going to the bottom of the sixth inning before Clinton scored in the sixth and three in the seventh to tie the game. Larsen’s homer snapped Clinton’s five-game losing streak.
The Dragons broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the third inning. Miles Gordon walked to start the inning and Jeter Downs reached on a bad hop single to move Gordon to second. With one out, Michael Beltre singled to left field to drive in Gordon, and after a wild pitch, Stuart Fairchild singled to left field to drive in both Downs and Beltre to make it 4-1.
Clinton battled back with three runs in the fourth to tie the game, 4-4. But the Dragons responded with three runs in the top of the fifth. John Sansone delivered a two-run triple with two outs to break the tie, and he scored on Jose Garcia’s single to center field to make it 7-4. The Dragons tacked on another run in the sixth to extend their lead to 8-4.
Dragons starting pitcher Tyler Mondile went five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Reliever Tyler Buffett worked an inning, surrendering four runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Cory Thompson replaced Buffett and tossed two perfect innings with four strikeouts. Sarkis Ohanian replaced Thompson to start the ninth and threw only one pitch as Larsen ended the game with a home run. Ohanian (1-1) was charged with the loss.
The Dragons finished with 11 hits. Fairchild led the attack with two hits and three runs batted in. Sansone also had two hits and drove two runs. Downs and Crook each collected two hits as well. Beltré had one hit to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games, the longest of the year for a Dayton player.
In the Standings: The Dragons fell to 15-12 with the loss. They dropped back into fourth place in the Midwest League East Division, two games behind Bowling Green, who took over first place from Lansing, as the Hot Rods picked up their eighth straight win on Sunday by completing a series sweep in Burlington.
Up Next: The Dragons return home to open a three-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Monday night at 7:00 EDT. Wendolyn Bautista (1-1, 6.20) will start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Edwar Colina (2-0, 0.60).
Tuesday’s pitching matchup will feature Dayton’s Hunter Greene against Tyler Watson of Cedar Rapids in a 7:00 p.m. meeting.