Late last week, Nick Travieso was going through his routine at the Cincinnati Reds extended spring training camp in Arizona, awaiting the start of rookie league. That came to an abrupt halt when Dragons starter Sal Romano was hurt and placed on the disabled list, and Travieso found himself on a late-night flight to Dayton.
With the jet lag out of his system, the Cincinnati Reds’ 2012 first-round draft pick made his Dragons debut Monday in a 6-5 loss to Lake County. The Southwest Ranches, Fla., native pitched four innings, allowing four runs and six hits while striking out three and walking one.
Life on the mound in Arizona was a little different than in Dayton, and not just the weather.
“It’s a tough transition,” Travieso said. “Going from Arizona where you are throwing in front of nobody, to 8,000-plus in Dayton.”
Travieso gave up three runs in the first inning and another in the second. He found his composure in the last two innings, striking out two and allowing only one hit.
Adrenaline got the best of Travieso in the first. Afterwards, he had the benefit of a chat with pitching coach Tony Fossas, who offered some advice.
“All I told him after the first was to keep being aggressive,” Fossas said. “Don’t think so much, just pick up your rhythm and pick up your pace. I think he did that, and I was happy with how he threw. He got two quick outs in the first and lost his rhythm after a walk, but he settled down and pitched very well.”
Dayton handed the game over to its bullpen, which allowed two runs in five innings.
The Dragons bats responded. Jeff Gelalich drove in a run with an infield single in the sixth. Beau Amaral drove in two with a double in the seventh and Tanner Rahier’s fielder’s choice scored a run in the eighth.
Joe Terry reached on a double in the ninth with two out, but Jesse Winker ended the game with a strikeout.
Dayton lost three out of four to Lake County in the series.
The game was a learning experience for Travieso, one in which the right-hander was eager to take part.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole career,” Travieso said. “I can only go forward from here.”
Dayton at Bowling Green, 8 p.m. Wednesday