Another tense, low scoring game was decided by tough pitching on Thursday night. The Dayton Dragons’ staff outdueled the Whitecaps and held on late to win 2-1. The Dragons’ victory evens the three game set at a game apiece.
Anthony Gutierrez got in a little trouble right from the first batter of the night. A walk and a single sent up an RBI single from Taylor Trammell. Gutierrez bore down from there, striking out the side to escape any further trouble. He then proceeded to battle the Dragons for the rest of a short outing. He issued two more walks and five more hits before exiting in the fifth inning, but he fought them tooth and nail, striking out nine and shutting them out.
Reliever Drew Carlton, who was just promoted to the Whitecaps from Connecticut, came on to get Gutierrez out of a fifth inning jam, and then dominated for two more innings, punching out five and allowing just one hit. Brandyn Sittinger couldn’t match him, however, allowing a run in the eighth to make it 2-0 Dragons.
The offense just couldn’t get on track. They got the leadoff man on in each of the first two innings, but couldn’t bring him home. Isaac Paredes lead off the second inning with a walk, and singled with two outs in the fourth. He was the only Whitecaps’ player to put together a multi-hit game, and reached base three times. He doubled with one out in the ninth to spark a brief rally as well.
Chad Sedio followed Paredes with a walk, and both advanced on a throwing error. Anthony Pereira got Paredes home with a ground ball out to make it 2-1, but catcher Austin Athmann flew out to end the game.
The series will be decided Friday night at Fifth Third Park. The Whitecaps will send Matt Manning (4-2, 3.18 ERA) to the mound looking to advance to the divisional round of the Midwest League playoffs.