Clinton Pitching Coughs Up Four Home Runs
DAYTON, OH - Four home runs by the Dayton Dragons proved too much to overcome for the Clinton LumberKings in a 5-4 series opening loss at Fifth Third Field on Monday night. LumberKings' (15-14) pitching allowed a season high four home runs with the last erasing an eighth inning lead.
The Dragons (11-19) scored all three of their runs against Clinton starter George Soriano via the long ball. Mariel Bautista opened the scoring with a two out solo home run to left in the first inning.
Following a LumberKings unearned in the second inning that tied the game - Dayton opened the bottom of the third with back-to-back home runs from Morgan Lofstrom and Carlos Rivero which went for their first extra base hits of the season.
The deficit remained 1-3 for the LumberKings until the eighth inning. Brayan Hernandez opened the inning with a double, Connor Scott walked, and Demetrius Sims was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Two strikeouts later and the Dragons called on Julio Pinto to exit the jam with no damage done. Will Banfield then lined a double past the dive of right fielder Reniel Ozuna to plate three runs and give Clinton a one-run lead.
Pinto (1-0) was given a blown save for his time out but benefited from the fourth Dragons home run of the night and was awarded his first win of the year for his 1.1 innings of work.
Tyler Mitzel (1-2) stayed in the game to work the eighth and protect the LumberKings one-run lead but allowed Shard Monroe to open the inning with a single and two batters later allowed a Bren Spillane home run - hit third of the year - that decided the contest.
Banfield's presence was not just felt at the plate in the game. He turned in a sensational performance behind the plate as well throwing out all three of the Dragons would be base stealers in the game.
The LumberKings will meet the Dayton Dragons for the second game of their three-game series on Tuesday night. Clinton will throw left-handed pitcher Manuel Rodriguez (1-1, 4.64) while the Dragons will counter with righty Jared Solomon (0-1, 4.58). Fans looking to listen to the game can hear Erik Oas on the call at 100.3 FM WCCI and online at lumberkings.com via the tunein radio ap at 5:45 p.m. (CDT) with the pregame show.
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