Former Wildcat Featured on MILB.com

Story by Kira Jones of mlb.com.

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Byron Wiley homered in the top of the first inning Sunday to stake Dayton to a 2-0 lead. By the time the Dragons came to bat again at West Michigan, they were trailing by 11 runs.

So Wiley spent the rest of the afternoon just trying to get on base. He ended up making history.

The 22-year-old designated hitter became the third Dragon to hit three homers in a game as Dayton was outslugged by the Whitecaps, 20-11.

Wiley's first-inning blast had the Dragons thinking about ending their four-game losing streak. But West Michigan took advantage of seven walks, sent 17 men to the plate and countered with a team-record 13 runs in the bottom half.

"I told the guys, 'Stay in it. We've got eight innings left, we can definitely fight back,'" said Wiley, the Reds' 22nd-round pick in the 2008 Draft.

Taking Wiley's advice, Dayton began to chip away at the deficit, scoring three runs in the second.

In the fourth, 2009 seventh-rounder Josh Fellhauer doubled and Andrew Means was hit by a pitch. Wiley, who walked in his previous at-bat, went deep again to get the Dragons within 13-8.

"Every at-bat, I was just going up there and trying to get on base any way I could. Anytime there were runners on base I really tried to bear down because I knew I had to get them in," the Kansas State product said.

In the sixth, Wiley tied a team record with his third homer, bringing his season total to eight and slicing West Michigan's lead to 17-10. Juan Francisco was the last Dragon to accomplish the feat on Aug. 19, 2007.

"I'm seeing the ball well and letting it get deep, feeling pretty comfortable at the plate and doing everything I've worked on with my hitting coach, Tony Jaramillo," Wiley said.

Wiley finished with six RBIs, one short of Francisco's team record.

Ironically, the Whitecaps did not have a homer among their 15 hits. But Bryan Pounds collected three hits and six RBIs, Ben Guez went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored and Mike Gosse chipped in three hits and four RBIs.

The trio helped West Michigan tie a team record for runs in a game.

Kira Jones is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.