Sunday, September 10, 2017 10:10 pm
TinCaps 6, Dayton 0
TinCaps tame Dragons to even series
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
DAYTON, Ohio – Brad Zunica and Marcus Greene Jr. launched early home runs Sunday night, and Reggie Lawson pitched five shutout innings to help the TinCaps stay alive in the Midwest League playoffs.
A 6-0 win over Dayton in Game 2 of the Eastern Division Championship Series forced a winner-take-all Game 3, which will also be played at the Dragons' Fifth Third Field on Monday night.
Zunica and Greene, hitting fourth and fifth, respectively, in Fort Wayne's order, connected on back-to-back pitches from Matt Blandino in the second inning. Handed a 2-0 lead, Lawson cruised.
The 20-year-old right-hander allowed four hits with five strikeouts. He threw 57 of 86 pitches for strikes.
Lawson's defense helped him escape a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth. Second baseman Justin Lopez made a nice diving stop on a sharply hit grounder to his left and threw to first to retire Bruce Yari.
Dayton manager Luis Bolivar removed Blandino, who gave up four hits, with one out in the third. Zunica had just drawn a bases-loaded walk off Blandino to make it 3-0.
Lucas Benenati entered and didn't fare much better. After Greene worked a bases-loaded walk for a 4-0 edge, Benenati hit a batter to force in another run.
The score remained 5-0 until Buddy Reed's ninth-inning RBI double.
Fort Wayne's bullpen was solid. Osvaldo Hernandez threw two scoreless innings with five strikeouts, Will Headean worked the eighth, and closer Hansel Rodriguez recorded the final three outs.
While the TinCaps had yet to announce a starter for Game 3, Andrew Jordan will take the mound for Dayton.