DAYTON — South Bend’s David Bote hit a grand slam home run and starting pitcher Zach Hedges allowed just two runs over seven innings as the Cubs defeated the Dayton Dragons 7-2 on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field. South Bend won two-of-three in the series.
The game was tied 2-2 after six innings before South Bend scored one in the seventh to take the lead, then added four in the eighth on Bote’s grand slam.
South Bend scored two runs in the top of the sixth to break a scoreless tie before the Dragons answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Dayton’s Cory Thompson reached an infield single and eventually scored from second on Narciso Crook’s two-out single. Crook scored on Argenis Aldazoro’s single to make it 2-2.
South Bend jumped back ahead in the top of the seventh on back-to-back two-out doubles by Rashad Crawford and Jeffrey Baez. Bote’s grand slam in the eighth came with two outs after a single, hit batsman, and walk.
Dragons starting pitcher Wyatt Strahan (6-8) suffered the loss. He worked the first seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and a season-high nine strikeouts. Ty Sterner worked the eighth and allowed the grand slam to Bote. Jeremy Kivel tossed a perfect ninth inning, striking out two.
The Dragons finished with eight hits. Aldazoro was 2-for-4 with a run batted in. Luis Gonzalez had a double for the team’s only extra base hit.
The Dragons (17-20 in the second half; 56-51 overall) did not play on Monday. They open a six-game, two-city road trip today in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (21-15, 62-44). Tejay Antone (5-8, 2.95) will start for Dayton against Cedar Rapids’ Keaton Steele (2-3, 3.88). The next Dragons home game is Tuesday, August 11 vs. the Peoria Chiefs.