DAYTON, OHIO – Dayton Dragons reliever Sarkis Ohanian struck out the side in order in the ninth inning to preserve a 3-2 lead and defeat the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field. The win gave the Dragons a split of their six-game home stand as they won three and lost three.
Ohanian pitched out of a tough jam in the eighth, stranding the tying run at third base, before going on to post his second save and make a winner of Dragons starter Ty Boyles.
After the two clubs waited out a rain delay of two hours, 18 minutes, the Dragons jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. Zack Shields opened the inning with a triple off the base of the right field wall and scored on a bloop double to right field by Brantley Bell. In the fourth, Shed Long blasted his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to left field, to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
South Bend got on the board in the sixth on a one-out solo home run by Ian Rice, his seventh of the season, to make it 2-1. They threatened in the top of the seventh but left the bases loaded when Dragons reliever Mike Sullivan got P.J. Higgins to ground to the mound to end the frame.
The Dragons pushed their lead to two again in the bottom of the seventh when James Vasquez doubled to deep right, went to third on Kevin Franklin’s single, and scored on a ground out by Kevin Garcia to make it 3-1.
South Bend answered with a run in the top of the eighth, but Ohanian came in to get the last two outs of the inning before his perfect ninth to close out the Dragons win.
Dragons starting pitcher Ty Boyles (2-4) worked six innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts to earn the win. Boyles has allowed two runs or less in four of his five starts since returning from extended spring training.
The Dragons finished with nine hits including six extra base hits. Bell and Franklin each had two hits.