Dragons catcher Jay Schuyler had texting on his mind following the team’s first win on Friday night. And the subject matter wouldn’t be a first-inning, three-run blast that soared high over the left-field wall at Fifth Third Field.
Instead, he wanted to share his next at-bat, a bunt single.
»» PHOTOS: Dragons vs. Hot Rods, Fri., April 5
“I’ve been doing that for a long time,” said the Newport Beach, Calif., native who popped up on the parent-club Cincinnati Reds’ radar at the University of San Diego. “My college coach would be really proud of me for that one because I learned that one in college. I’ll have to shoot him a text about that. I’m proud of that one.”
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There was much to be proud of following a 7-5 defeat of the visiting Bowling Green Hot Rods. Most of all, it was the Dragons’ first win after falling 3-2 to the Hot Rods in Thursday’s season and home opener.
Schuyler (pronounced SKY-ler), is one of three Dragons catchers and succeeded Pabel Manzanero, who started on opening day. Trailing 2-0, Schuyler’s bomb reversed a 2-0 deficit. He had those two hits, scored twice and accounted for three RBIs.
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Dragons centerfielder Mariel Bautista scored twice, shortstop Miguel Hernandez had two hits and scored and outfielder Michael Siani had two hits. Dayton’s two runs in the fourth inning made a winner of reliever Alexis Diaz (1-0), who went two innings, struck out three and allowed one earned run.
Dragons middle reliever Adrian Rodriguez was even better, allowing three hits over three innings, striking out two and allowing one earned run. Closer Andy Cox struck out two in pitching the ninth inning.
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Dragons starting pitcher Jacob Heatherly lasted three innings after hitting hit pitch count early due to a 34-pitch first inning. He allowed two earned runs and struck out four.
Schuyler’s three-run shot in his first swing as a Dragon was the immediate offensive pop that had mostly been missing on opening night.
»» PHOTOS: Dragons vs. Hot Rods, Thu., April 4
“That’s what you dream about,” he said. “Everyone wants to do that in their first at-bat. I was just trying not to do too much. Just stay in the middle and I got a good pitch to hit.”
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Following his surprise bunt single, Schuyler scored on Hernandez’s double.
The abbreviated home stand ends after two games. Instead, the teams will resume the series at Bowling Green on Saturday and Sunday.
“We got the first win out of the way and it’s a huge win,” Dragons manager Luis Bolivar said. “It’s huge for us to build confidence. We’ll see how it goes on the road. This should build momentum for the guys.”
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Dragons’ tales: A 14th consecutive season of high school baseball games will be held at Fifth Third Field, beginning with Sunday’s doubleheader featuring New Knoxville vs. Lincolnview at 1 p.m. and Fairborn vs. Edgewood at 4 p.m. There also will be a doubleheader on Monday with Ponitz vs. Stivers at 4 p.m. and Tippecanoe vs. Piqua at 7 p.m.
Tuesday’s doubleheader is Lebanon vs. Harrison at 4:30 p.m. and Spencerville vs. Liberty-Benton at 7 p.m.
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In all, 20 high school varsity games are scheduled. Games are free of charge and serve as fund-raisers for teams through the sale of concessions. Mount St. Joseph University will serve as sponsor.
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