Vasquez, Beltre belt home runs in Dragons win

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—James Vasquez blasted a two-run home run and Michael Beltre added a solo shot to lead the Dayton Dragons to a 7-2 win over the South Bend Cubs on Saturday night.  The Dragons earned their first win of the four-game series and will go for the split of the set in the finale on Sunday.

The win lifted the Dragons back into sole possession of first place in the Midwest League East Division with a 10-6 record.  South Bend is 9-7, one game out of first.

The Dragons got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first inning.  T.J. Friedl walked to start the game and Jose Siri sacrificed him to second.  Taylor Trammell singled through the middle to drive in Friedl to make it 1-0.  One batter later, Vasquez walked and Luis Gonzalez followed with a double down the left field line to drive in two more runs to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.

South Bend scored one run in the bottom of the first, but Dayton’s Michael Beltre launched a solo home run to right field in the second to make it 4-1.  It was Beltre’s second homer of the year, tying him with Tyler Stephenson for the team lead.

After South Bend added one run in the third to make it 4-2, but the Dragons responded with a run in the fourth when Brantley Bell singled, stole second, and scored on Beltre’s hit to center.  Then in the fifth, James Vasquez blasted a long two-run home run to right field, his first of the year, to make it 7-2.

Dragons starting pitcher Tony Santillan worked four innings and faced the first two batters in the fifth.  He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts but was not involved in the decision.  Aaron Fossas replaced Santillan with runners at first and second and no one out in the bottom of the fifth.  Fossas (1-0) worked out of the jam in the fifth and then remained in the game for three more innings without allowing a run to earn the win.  His final line included four innings with only one hit allowed, no walks, and one strikeout.  Joel Kuhnel worked the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation, tossing a scoreless frame.

The Dragons collected seven hits.  Beltre led the way, going 2 for 4 with two runs batted in.  Vasquez and Gonzalez each had two RBI as well.

The Dragons and Cubs will meet in the finale to the series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. in South Bend.  Scott Moss (1-1, 5.14) will start for the Dragons against South Bend’s Duncan Robinson (2-1, 1.32).

Major band competitions pump $19m into Dayton economy

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An international band championship event is expecting to pump millions of dollars into the Dayton economy.

Thousands of people are expecting to participate in and attend the the 2017 WGI percussion and wind world championship, according to marketing manager Crystal Walker.

It takes place April 20th to April 24th at the University of Dayton Arena and Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

The group also hosted the color guard world championships on April 6th to April 8th.

“Over the course of two weekends it brings in about 19 million dollars to the Dayton community,” Walker said.

“We are definitely big contributors to the Dayton community.

“We’ve got students and groups and volunteers staying at hotels and eating at restaurants all across the Miami valley region.”

More than 200 percussion ensembles and 35 winds ensembles are in town for the big event, competing for the top spot and thousands in scholarships.

Walker said scores of people traveled across the country and the globe to participate in or watch this weekend’s event.

She said it’s a little more special as it’s the competition’s anniversary, so competitors have a sweeter prize.

“Since it’s our 40th anniversary, we’re awarding forty thousand dollars worth in scholarships to students,” Walker said.

“But ultimately they’re competing for that top score of gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal.”

And the competition gets more and more fierce each year, with more and more musicians and dancers getting involved.

“We’ve just seen it explode over the last 40 years,” Walker said.

“In 1993, we started the percussion division and then a few years later we started the winds divisions. So we’ve just seen it continue to grow.”