The day Dayton Dragons fans have anticipated since the Cincinnati Reds selected Sports Illustrated cover boy Hunter Greene with the second pick of the MLB draft last summer has arrived!
Follow along as Greene makes his Dragons debut against the Lake County Captains, a Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians...
Sarkis Ohanian came on to try to protect a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning.
He struck out Ulysses Cantu to start the inning.
He started Michael Rivera 0-2 then put him away with a nasty curveball to bring up Dillon Persinger.
Ohanian blew him away with a fastball to nail down Dayton’s second win of the season.
After three scoreless innings, the Dragons took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Miles Gordon singled and went to second when Mark Kolozsvary walked.
Hector Vargas hit a potential double-play ball up the middle, but Tyler Friis dropped the ball as he went to throw to first.
Kolozsvary was out at second, but Gordon raced around third to score the third run of the night.
Narcisco Crook followed with a single through the left side of the infield, but Jeter Downs strand a pair of runners when he flied out to center.
The Captains threatened in the top of the seventh, but Dayton shortstop Jose Garcia made a nice play to throw out Oscar Gonzalez at first base and strand runners at second and third.
Garcia, a highly regarded prospect signed from Cuba last year, showed off an impressive arm to nip Gonzalez and preserve the lead for Dayton.
Greene showed some guts in the top of the third, stranding two runners in scoring position by striking out Lake County’s No. 3-4-5 hitters.
He gave up a pair of singles to start the frame, then saw Jorma Rodriguez and Oscar Gonzalez move up on a wild pitch.
After taking a minute to clean out his spikes, Greene went to work.
He struck out Todd Isaacs on back-to-back off-speed pitches then struck out Will Benson with a 2-2 pitch that tailed low and away from Benson’s bat.
Apparently not quite satisfied with the degree of difficulty, Greene went 3-0 on Austen Wade before coming back to strike him out, too.
Wade fouled off a fastball then took a big looping curve on 3-1.
He swung through a low pitch for strike three to end the threat and draw a big ovation from the home crowd.
Greene’s line through three: two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. He has threw 53 pitches, including 35 strikes.
The Dragons went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame.
Ulysses Cantu dribbled the second pitch of the second inning to first base and was retired on a flip from Montrell Marshall to Greene.
He struck out Michael Rivera swinging on an inside fastball for out No. 2 then started off third baseman Dillon Persinger with an off-speed pitch that came in at 85 MPH.
Persinger and Greene then engaged in a nice little battle.
After Greene missed with a breaking ball on the outside part of the plate and an inside fastball, Persinger swung through a 97-MPH heater.
He held up on a breaking ball that was called a ball then fouled off another fastball down the middle.
Greene finally got the measure of the third baseman with another fastball to finish a 1-2-3.
Greene’s second inning line: no hits, no walks, two strikeouts. 15 pitches, 10 for strikes.
The Dragons scored in the bottom of the second when Lake County right fielder Oscar Gonzalez miss-handled a grounder. That allowed Miles Gordon to race around third base and score from second.
Hector Vargas singled down the first baseline, sending Mark Kolozsvary to third, and he came home on a long fly to center by Narcisco Crook.
That tied the game at two.
Jeter Downs grounded out to end the inning.
Jorma Rodriguez stepped in first and took a ball low at exactly 7 p.m.
Greene got the ball back and quickly came back with a breaking ball that Rodriguez couldn’t hold up on.
He fouled off the third pitch then took an inside pitch for strike three.
The second batter, Oscar Gonzalez, hit a solid ground-ball single up the middle.
Greene then got center fielder Todd Isaacs looking for the second out of the inning.
He buckled designated hitter Will Benson’s knees with a big curve ball, but Benson hit a 1-1 pitch sharply up the middle for the second Captains single of the inning.
While Greene worked quickly, Austen Wade wasted no time, either. The Lake County left fielder swatted a pitch to the opposite field for a double down the line that brought home Gonzalez and Benson for the game’s first runs.
Greene slowed his pace a little at that point and was able to strand Wade at second when he struck out Tyler Friis swinging.
Greene’s opening inning line: six batters faced, two runs allowed on three hits with three strikeouts.
He threw 20 pitches, including 14 strikes.
READ MORE: First impressions of Hunter Greene
Jose Garcia reached on an infield single in the bottom of the first, but he was stranded there when Stuart Fairchild’s long fly ball settled into the glove of Captains center fielder Todd Isaacs.
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