Dragons split doubleheader

Dragons shortstop Miguel Hernandez throws out a West Michigan batter during Sunday's game at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Dragons shortstop Miguel Hernandez throws out a West Michigan batter during Sunday's game at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

The Dayton Dragons rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat the West Michigan Whitecaps 7-5 in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday night. West Michigan won the first game, a scheduled seven-inning contest, 4-3 in 10 innings.

The Dragons fell behind 5-1 through three innings in game two. But they rallied with two runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth to take the lead, and reliever Andy Fisher retired all 10 batters he faced to close out the game. Fisher struck out six in three and one-third perfect innings to earn the win.

Mariel Bautista had a solo home run and an RBI single for the Dragons and James Free added two doubles, including a tie-breaking RBI hit in the sixth that gave the Dragons a 6-5 lead.

In the first game, the Dragons trailed 1-0 going to the final inning (the seventh), but tied the game on Victor Ruiz’s sacrifice fly to send it to extra innings. Dayton scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to twice take the lead, but West Michigan answered with single runs of their own in the bottom half of both innings as both clubs took advantage of the “free runner” at second base rule to start the innings.

The Dragons failed to score in the top of the 10th and West Michigan pushed across a two-out run in the bottom of the inning for a walk-off win.

The Dragons pulled to within two games of first place Great Lakes in the East Division of the High-A Central League. Great Lakes lost to Fort Wayne 8-7 in 10 innings on Friday.

SUNDAY’S GAME

Dayton at West Michigan, 2 p.m., 980