Luis Bolivar is in his second season as the Dragons manager. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer
Photo: Contributing Writer

Dragons return to field, split doubleheader

When Dayton Dragons manager Luis Bolivar first got the news of the mass shooting in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, he had one thing on his mind.

“The first thing I thought was about the guys being there,” Bolivar said. “I spent all morning making calls and talking to them. It was nerve-wracking.”

»RELATED: Dragons honor shooting victims

All the calls checked out and everyone was safe.

“None of them were there,” Bolivar said. “But it was nerve-wracking, I was afraid.”

In light of the shooting, the Dragons postponed their Sunday afternoon game with Lake County, meaning two seven inning games Monday night.

The Dragons honored the shooting victims between the two games by placing nine white roses on home plate as their names were read on the public address system .

“We had a big talk today about it,” Bolivar said. “They feel for the community. They are not from here, but they feel for them.”

»RELATED: Dragons accepting donations for Oregon District Tragedy Fund

The Dragons split the doubleheader. Dayton watched a 6-1 lead in the first game turn into a 13-7 setback before winning the second game 1-0 on a fifth-inning home run by Brian Rey .

“We feel that as long as we can keep the game close, we always have a chance,” Bolivar said. “Getting the second game was huge for us to keep the momentum going.”

Dragons starter Connor Curlis worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the fourth inning. Curlis struck out 10 and did not walk a batter in six innings to improve to 4-3. Clate Schmidt got his second save.

“Curlis pitched well,” Bolivar said. “I was very happy with how he threw. He was really locked in. When he had bases loaded and no outs, he made some great pitches to get out of the inning.”

The Dragons got off to a fast start in the opener, sending 10 hitters to the plate as part of a six-run first inning.

Mariel Bautista led off the bottom of the first with a home run. Brian Rey and Morgan Lofstrom had back-to-back RBI doubles and Cameron Warren cracked a two-run double for a 5-1 lead.

Randy Ventura singled home the final run of the first inning.

After Lake County cut the deficit to 6-3 in the top of the second, the Dragons got the run back without the benefit of a hit.

Michael Siani reached on an error and stole second. The throw to second got past the shortstop, allowing Siani to advance to third. He scored when the center fielder over-ran the overthrow on the stolen base attempt.

That, however, was to be the best it would get for Dayton.

The Dragons had just two hits the last five innings, ending the game with a double play in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded and one out.

“When you get seven runs the first two innings, it’s one of those games where you’ve got to stay locked in,” Bolivar said. “You’ve got to stay locked in the whole game and keep adding and adding.”

Lake County took the lead with four in the fifth before adding four in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Jerry D’Andrea fell to 0-3 after allowing six runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six.

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