Cozart Drills Two Homers to Lift Dragons to 5-4 Win
Fort Wayne, Ind.-Zack Cozart drilled two home runs including a tie-breaking shot in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Dayton Dragons to a 5-4 victory over the Fort Wayne Wizards on Wednesday night. The win was the Dragons third straight and lifted them to within two games of the wildcard playoff slot in the Midwest League's Eastern Division with 18 games to play in the first half race. The win got the Dragons back to the .500 mark at 25-25.
Cozart's second home run of the night came with one out and the bases empty in the ninth inning and broke a 4-4 tie just after Fort Wayne's Yefri Carvajal had tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth. Cozart had belted a solo home run in the seventh and also had a double to start a scoring rally in the third to give him 10 total bases in the game.
The Dragons built a 3-0 lead over the early and middle innings of the game, only to see Fort Wayne score three runs in the seventh to tie the game, setting the stage for Cozart's heroics.
The Dragons took the lead in the third inning on a very unusual play. Cozart led off the inning with a double to the gap in left-center field. He went to third on Justin Reed's sacrifice bunt. Keltavious Jones hit a fly ball toward left-center. Fort Wayne left fielder Yefri Carvajal called for the ball, but it bounced off his glove. Center fielder Luis Durango snagged the ball out of the air before it hit the ground to complete the catch. Cozart tagged and scored on what was officially a sacrifice fly with an assist to the left fielder.
In the fourth, the Dragons added one more run. Michael McKennon doubled to the right field corner and scored on Kevyn Feiner's two-out single to right to make it 2-0.
Cozart drilled a solo home run in the seventh to give Dayton a 3-0 lead.
But Fort Wayne tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of two walks and two wild pitches. The game-tying hit came with two outs when Justin Baum doubled off Dragons reliever Terrell Young to bring in Luis Durango from second.
Dayton briefly regained the lead in the top of the eighth when Logan Parker doubled with one out, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an error to make it 4-3.
Carvajal's home run against Joseph Krebs leading off the bottom of the eighth re-tied the game before Cozart's second homer of the night and his fourth of the season gave the Dragons the lead for good in the ninth.
Krebs (5-2) was credited with the win. Jeff Jeffords came on to record the final two outs of the game in the bottom of the ninth for his second save.
Dragons starting pitcher Curtis Partch worked five scoreless innings, allowing three hits with three walks and three strikeouts, but was not involved in the decision.
The Dragons play at Fort Wayne again on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (WING 1410 AM). Jamie Arneson (0-0, 7.00) will start for Dayton. The next home game is Sunday, June 1st at the special start time of 4:00 p.m.
Notes: Cozart's multi-homer night was the fourth of the season for the Dragons. Brandon Waring has hit two home runs in a game twice while Todd Frazier did it once...Devin Mesoraco went 0 for 4 as his hitting streak ended at eight games...The Dragons have won three straight games for the first time since May 4-6...They have collected at least 10 hits in all three wins after going 12 consecutive games without reaching the 10-hit mark.
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