Dayton took control in the following inning, when the LumberKings lost control and allowed four unearned runs.
Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan committed back-to-back throwing errors, the first on a plate at home plate, and Mejias-Brean capped the inning with a three-run double.
“I think our momentum changed after they scored four,” Menchaca said. “I sensed it on the bench; I sensed it in the body language.”
The Clinton offense, which produced 14 hits, kept trying to rally. But, each time, the Dragons responded.
“We battled and had chances,” Menchaca said. “We hit balls hard.”
Clinton loaded the bases in the sixth, but after Taylor Ard hit a single to score one, Marte hit into an inning-ending double play.
Dayton stretched its lead to 9-4 in the seventh on a home run by Arias, but Guillermo Pimentel did the same in the bottom half of the inning. Unfortunately for Clinton, his shot into the LumberLounge in right field came after a double play.
The Kings scored again in the seventh on Dario Pizzano’s single, but Dayton got that run back in the top of the eighth. An RBI double by Jabari Henry pulled Clinton within 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth, but the Dragons answered with one in the ninth.
Clinton even gave the fans a ray of hope in the bottom of the ninth, when Kivlehan and Pizzano hit consecutive one-out singles. After a groundout, Jordy Lara put some excitement in the crowd when he smacked a line drive to left field, but Amaral made a diving catch to end the game.
“I thought he had a good chance (to catch it),” Menchaca said of his viewing advantage from the third-base coaching box. “But, I knew that (diving) was his only chance.”
One bright spot for Clinton was the continued surge at the plate by Henry. He extended his hitting streak to six games when his third-inning single brought in the first run and helped Clinton build a 3-0 lead. He is batting .397 for the year.