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Published: Saturday, November 04, 2017 @ 10:24 PM
DAYTON — Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant’s family — his wife Chris and three of his children — sat a couple rows behind the bench on Saturday at UD Arena. Chris applauded until the last player had left the court after a 79-61 victory against Ohio Dominican in an exhibition game.
This was Grant’s first game as UD coach. It won’t count on his record, but it meant a lot to him.
“Let me open up by saying it’s awesome to be back in the arena,” Grant said in his postgame press conference. “Thirty years ago as a player and to see it come full circle and have a chance to walk out of the tunnel as a head coach, I want to thank our administration, Neil Sullivan and Dr. (Eric) Spina, for the opportunity.”
RELATED: UD shows off arena improvements
Grant then praised the renovated UD Arena, which fans saw for the first time. Phase one of the three-year, $72 million project ended just in time for the season to start.
“The arena’s awesome,” Grant said. “It’s beautiful. I want to thank (UD Arena Director) Scott DeBolt and his staff for the great job they did getting the place ready for us to be able to showcase it today for our fans and loyal supporters. It’s awesome to be able to come out and play in front of our fans in a great arena.”
The Flyers led 37-28 at halftime and opened the second half on a 9-2 run. Josh Cunningham led Dayton with 22 points. Xeyrius Williams had 15 rebounds. Darrell Davis scored 14. Matej Svoboda scored 13.
The Flyers shot 47.8 percent from the field and held Ohio Dominican, a Division II team, to 33.3 percent.
“I was really proud of the effort our guys gave,” Grant said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys out there. It was there first chance of getting out there in front of a crowd. It was the first opportunity to play a game. Tonight, for the most part, we had really consistent effort. The thing I told them before the game is what we wanted to see was continued improvement. Continue to get better in the things we worked on from an offensive and defensive standpoint. For the most part, we were able to do that. We were able to play through some adversity with foul trouble and maybe a few turnovers that were untimely. I thought we played through some positive runs that can cause distraction for a young team when you think you’ve built a little bit of a lead and you think it’s easy.”
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 6:26 PM
DAYTON — Two more 2019 recruits earned scholarship offers from the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday.
• Moulaye Sissoko is a 6-foot-10 center originally from Mali in West Africa. He attends Lincoln Academy in Atlanta. The school reported his offer on Twitter. Sissoko is a three-star prospect who ranks 288th in the class, according to 247Sports.com. Mississippi State, Penn State and South Carolina are among the other schools to offer him scholarships.
» RELATED: Casey Cathrall reflects on year with Dayton
• Lester Quinones, a 6-5 shooting guard at St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, N.J., also received an offer, according to Pat Lawless, of PrepCircuit.com. Quinones is a four-star recruit who ranks 69th in the class of 2019, according to 247Sports.com. Connecticut, Illinois and Providence are among the other schools recruiting him.
» 2019 OFFERS: Tre Williams | Dontaie Allen | Maceo Austin | Andre Gordon | Tyler Bertram | Tyson Etienne | Jovan Blacksher Jr. | Diante Smith | Toumani Camara | Kira Lewis | Prince Gillam and Ismael Cruz | Joshua Pierre-Louis
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:07 PM
— The Dayton Dragons wrapped up the first half of the Midwest League season with an 8-0 loss to West Michigan on Sunday.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s been an up-and-down season so far for the Cincinnati Reds’ Single-A affiliate.
Dayton finished the first half in sixth place in the Eastern division, 15.5 games behind leader Bowling Green.
This marks a major departure from last season when the Dragons streaked through the first half and had clinched a wildcard berth when it was over.
The Dragons opened the season on a three-game losing streak.
Then they won their next nine only to lose eight in a row.
After that came a six-game winning streak.
Things leveled off to a certain extent after that, but there were still losing streaks of seven and eight games along with a five-game winning streak.
The Dragons were a league-worst 9-23 on the road in the first half.
They posted a 22-14 mark in front of the fans at Fifth Third Field, however, and that might not come as much of a surprise for a roster that is pretty young.
Speaking of youth...
Many of the preseason headlines were devoted to Hunter Greene, the 18-year-old pitching phenom with the triple-digit fastball who was the No. 2 pick in last year’s MLB draft.
However, the best teenager on the team so far has been Jeter Downs.
The infielder leads the team in hits (68) and stolen bases (18) while sharing the team lead in doubles (15) with Montrell Marshall.
RedsMinorLeagues.com notes Downs, who turns 20 on July 27, has already put up some impressive power numbers compared to previous teenage Dragons.
Hunter Greene made 12 starts in the first half and finished with a 5.53 ERA. That is the best it has been since he gave up seven runs in less than an inning during his third start.
Green has allowed six runs and seven walks over 23.3 innings in his last five starts. He has struck out 27 while walking seven and allowing 20 hits.
RELATED: Greene loses pitchers’ duel
He has gradually worked up his pitch count, throwing 86 his last time out, and shown that while he is raw, Reds fans have a lot to be excited about.
One of Greene’s batterymates, Hendrick Clementina has been the team’s best hitter so far.
A catcher acquired in the Tony Cingrani trade, Clementina is has a team-best .971 OPS and also leads the club in batting (.316), homers (nine) and RBIs (35).
He is one of five teams to make the all-star team, joining outfielder Marshall, outfield Stuart Fairchild and pitchers Cory Thompson and John Ghyzel.
Was this a successful first half for the Dragons?
In record, obviously not.
The Dragons had the worst on-base percentage in the Midwest League and finished 12th in runs scored. They also had the worst team ERA in the league.
Development is the name of the game at this level, though, and a handful of the guys in Green look like keepers.
That includes Greene, who appears to be on the right track after a rocky run in late April and early May.
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 10:44 PM
CINCINNATI — Sal Romano delivered one of his best starts of the season as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Detroit Tigers 9-5 in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
Romano pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out six.
» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star
Romano pitched a season-high eight innings in his previous start against the Royals in Kansas City, allowing one run on four hits June 12. In his last two starts, he has lowered his ERA from 6.23 to 5.18.
Joey Votto got the Reds on the board with a grand slam in the third. He shooed a bird away from the plate two pitches before the home run and then flapped his arms as he crossed home plate.
Tucker Barnhart drove in the Reds’ fifth run with a double in the fourth. Billy Hamilton hit a solo home run in the sixth. Adam Duvall drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth to make it 8-0.
The Tigers didn’t get on the board until the ninth when Wandy Peralta allowed five earned earned runs on four hits without recording an out.
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 8:44 PM
CINCINNATI — A bird was the word for the Cincinnati Reds in the third inning Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Joey Votto came to the plate only to be distracted by a black bird watching him hit from steps in front of home plate. He took two steps toward the pitcher’s mound to shoo it away, and it moved behind the mound. Two pitches later, Votto hit a grand slam to give the Reds a 4-0 lead against the Detroit Tigers.
» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star
As Votto approached home plate, he flapped his arms. It was Votto’s first home run since May 13. He hadn’t hit a home run in 30 games.
Votto appeared in his 1,500th game Sunday in Pittsburgh. He’s part of an infield that leads baseball in combined batting average (.288) and on-base percentage (.362).
This bird had a front-row seat to Joey Votto’s grand slam. It was so close to the plate Votto shooed it away. It moved behind the pitcher’s mound. pic.twitter.com/9FkqGpMOEf— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) June 20, 2018