Lebanon grad Isaacs cherishes time at Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Midwest Leader in most significant stats; call-up is imminent.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

TODAY’S GAME

Dayton at Fort Wayne, 7 p.m.

WONE-AM (980)

DIGITAL EXTRA

View video and photos at MyDaytonDailyNews.com

DIGITAL EXTRA

View video and photos at MyDaytonDailyNews.com

DIGITAL EXTRA

View video and photos at MyDaytonDailyNews.com

The Dayton Dragons didn’t see much of Lansing Lugnuts reliever and Lebanon High School graduate Dusty Isaacs. And soon neither will the rest of the Midwest League.

A league leader in most of the significant reliever stats, Isaacs is a favorite to land a call-up to the Dunedin (Fla.) Blue Jays in the Florida State League.

“If that happens, that would be great,” said Isaacs, who wasn’t called upon for the second straight game, a 5-1 Lugnuts win that completed a three-game series sweep and extended the Dragons’ losing streak to a club-record 12 games.

“I just control what I can control and I’m working hard every day. I’m really enjoying the guys I’m with. We have a great group on the team. You play 142 games in this league; you’ve got to come to the field everyday with an open mindset, enjoy it and have as much fun as possible.”

ExploreRELATED: Dragons photo gallery

These are fun times for Isaacs, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-hander by way of Georgia Tech. He leads the league in saves (10), is first in fewest base runners per nine innings (6.75), tied for first in games pitched (19), tied for first in games finished (17) and is second in lowest walks per nine innings (0.75).

And there’s more: He was an Uber driver at Lansing after home games last season, often transporting adoring fans. He no longer does that, but he sure cherishes trips to Dayton.

“I get to stay at home and get some home-cooked meals and see my family, my grandparents and some coaches of mine who I’ve had at Lebanon who I’m still really close with,” said Isaacs, who closed out the first game of this series with a perfect ninth inning on Tuesday. “All that’s really special for me and to play professional baseball on a field that I came to when I was little with my dad. Every time I can do that, it’s special every game.”

To be sure, these are not so special days for the Dragons. For the second straight game, the Lugnuts struck in the first inning, this time scoring two runs. Dayton managed just six hits, including a double by Kevin Garcia, but couldn’t mount any consistent offense.

Starting pitcher Jacob Constante (1-6) was tagged with the loss, going five innings and allowing three earned runs.

“I honestly wake up every day and think this is going to change,” manager Dick Schofield said of the Dragons (13-41). “Confidence and all that stuff, I get that. It can snowball. We’ve done some things good but we just give opposing teams too many extra bases and extra runs. It’s just carelessness.”

Dragons tales: Catcher Tyler Stephenson (left wrist) and right-handed pitcher Bernardo Moreta (strained oblique) have been placed on the disabled list and likely are out at least two weeks.

• The Dragons are at Fort Wayne and South Bend for a couple of three-game series. Dayton’s next home game is a week from today against Fort Wayne.