DAYTON, Ohio – Tanner Rahier’s line drive single to center field drove in pinch runner Zack Shields from second base with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning as the Dayton Dragons defeated the Fort Wayne TinCaps 6-5 on Saturday night. A crowd of 9,139 saw the Dragons first “walk-off” win of the 2016 season at Fifth Third Field.
The Dragons game-winning rally began when Argenis Aldazoro drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the 12th. Shields entered the game to run for Aldazoro and stole second base. After Kevin Garcia struck out, Rahier lined a hit to center. Fort Wayne center fielder Michael Gettys charged the ball and fired home, but Shields slid in safely to end the game.
The win gave the Dragons their first home series victory of the 2016 season. They have won the first two games of a three-game set with Fort Wayne that will conclude on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons have won three of their last four games.
The Dragons had to come from behind in the 11th inning to avoid defeat. After Fort Wayne broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th on Gettys’ two-out RBI single, the Dragons tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Brantley Bell singled to right field with one out and scored on Reydel Medina’s double to the left field corner.
The Dragons took a 4-3 lead to the ninth inning before Fort Wayne tied the game on Gettys’ run-scoring triple. Gettys also had a long home run in the seventh as part of a huge night for the TinCaps all-star center fielder.
The Dragons built a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Garcia walked, went to third on Rahier’s double off the left field fence, and scored on Shed Long’s infield single. Rahier then scored on Medina’s sacrifice fly. Fort Wayne tied the game in the fifth on a two-run home run by Ty France. The Dragons regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on Garcia’s two-out RBI single before Gettys tied it in the seventh with the home run.
Dragons reliever Jesus Reyes (2-1) was credited with the win, pitching two innings and allowing one run. Dragons pitchers struck out 16 batters to match a season high.
The Dragons finished with 11 hits. Garcia, Rahier, and Long each had two. Doubles by Rahier and Medina were the only extra base hits.