Wow, is it just me or has summer hit full swing already? The sun was so bright I thought I’d see Leo the Lion pass right out at Baujan Field this last Saturday. Here is you weekly update for June 21st.
It’s been a pretty solid week for the Dragons, losing their first series away against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, and winning their second against the Great Lake Loons in Dayton. It made for a great weekend unless you saw them play on Sunday afternoon. Dayton had swept their series with Wisconsin to end last week and seemed to bring some confidence to the team as they travelled to Fort Wayne on Tuesday. Over the first 8 innings the Dragons scored 9 runs against the Tin Caps who only returned 4 until the top of the ninth, where they drove in another 4 on reliever Chase Ware, but managed to save the game with a final score of 9-8 to extend the Dragon’s winning streak to 4. The rest of the series would be disappointing however, as the Dragons would drop the next two, both again by one run, 5-4 on Wednesday, 6-5 on Thursday.
Dayton came home to play over the weekend and managed two solid wins against the Great Lakes Loons who are not only near the top of the League standings but have been very dangerous on the road this year. Friday night the Dragons had only 5 hits by 5 different players but made them count. A home run in the second by Tommy Nurre, and one by Josh Garton in the 4th (his 8th of the season) with a man on base was all it took to win the game. Saturday’s match went from a long night followed by a last minute clincher. A no score evening seemed wrapped up when the Dragons scored two at the top of the ninth but oddly the Loons felt they had something to say about that and tied up the game with two runs of their own. Three more innings provided no avail but then at the top of the 13th, the Loons got a runner in and were ahead 3-2. The Dragons, not to be detoured, cracked out a single from Frank Pfister, and one from Chase Weems. A bobbled ball by a Loon’s outfielder gave Pfister enough time to round the bases and get home. One last line drive from Didi Gregorious into right field gave Weems all the time he needed to round third and make it home, the crowd goes wild, Dragons win, 4-3. This is followed up by a less than exciting loss this Sunday 7-5, but how about we just keep that one in the record books?
The Dragons will play away once more this upcoming weekend against Lansing who is touch above their next opponent, Fort Wayne. That series will be at home starting next Monday. Both have pretty similar records right now, at around .520. The Dragons can improve their standing by taking a few of these games, but it won’t be easy. There is a pretty big gap between both of those teams and the Dragons, but perhaps since they just finished a series with Fort Wayne, they can be better prepared and know what to expect.
There isn’t much to report for the Gems this week. There hasn’t really been any news out of the CHL, and there is still no word on a possible head coach, or players for that matter. Check back for more later.
The Dutch Lions had a very difficult week that resulted in not a single victory. As I mentioned last week the Lions had 3 games on their plate. The first was up against the Rochester Rhinos in the US Lamar Hunt Open Cup. A difficult loss of 2-0 for the Lions was a shame but for a first year team in the PDL, they did the city of Dayton proud simply by making it as a result of their undefeated season at that point. The second stop came on Thursday the 17th, a league match against the Cleveland Internationals. The Lions started off at a slow trudge but ended up out shooting Cleveland most of the evening. Though the resulting 2-2 draw doesn’t indicate that, an aggressive offense helped save the Lions from a second loss in league play (or in a row for that matter) and we continue to see them near the top of the standings. Lastly the Dutch Lions came home to Dayton on Saturday evening to take on the Columbus Crew of the MLS. I think like many I had assumed that the Crew would not be playing their starters in this game. That is nothing against the Lions, but the MLS clearly stands a head above the rest and an exhibition match against a 2008 MLS championship team seemed an unlikely win. Yet on walked the starters and we all knew we were in for a ride. Dayton came out lethargic, and who could blame them? It was unsure to know how the game was going to go, but with the Crew scoring in the first 15 minutes they seemed to snap out of it and kept them from making any impressive shots on goal for the remaining first half, while the Lions, though developed some potentially great shots, failed to capitalize on any of them.
The Crew came out in the second half filled with almost all of their starters and things got ugly as they drove in two more goals past Keeper Oscar Moens. Though many valiant efforts kept the score way lower than it could have been, the Crew took home the win, 3-0. Three games in a week will put a kink in any team, and the Lions really tested their metal out there against some traditionally great opponents. Though I’m sure we would have loved to see a win squeaked by at Rochester or against The Crew, there is always next year.
Dayton has an away game early this week against Cincinnati, and another home game this Saturday against the Chicago Fire. No, not the MLS team, their PDL development team of the same name. Aught to be a great match though.
There still isn’t a whole lot going on around Campus, but Wright State’s Men’s basketball coach Billy Donlon announced the hiring of an assistant coach by the name of Chris Moore. Moore has been an assistant coach and recruiter at Morehead State. He has been credited for signing two top 40 classes at Morehead State, as well as assisting the team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2009. This is an exciting move for Wright State. If he can snag the talent he’s been getting in the last few years and have them follow him to Dayton, the Raiders could be seeing a spot in The Tournament again real soon.
Speaking of all this news with The Dayton Dutch Lions and The Rochester Rhinos, the Flyers have a great article up about former player Issac Kissi. Kissi, now a member of the Rhinos was recently interviewed (though the articles doesn’t mention the journalist responsible.) He shares some interesting information about his time as a Flyer as well as his budding professional career.
That’s all for now, see you next week! Since the Dragons wont’ be home until next Monday I expect to see Miami Valley South Stadium packed to capacity! After all with the World Cup in full swing, it’s soccer season! And if getting up at 7:30 in the morning to watch a live game from Africa isn’t exactly your idea of fun (or you can’t think of a good way to explain that to your boss) then an evening with the Lions might be just right.