In the opener of a big three game series between the South Atlantic League Southern Division's top two teams, the Asheville Tourists took a crazy game by a final score of 15-12 over the Charleston RiverDogs. There were 1,904 in attendance on Monday night at McCormick Field to see the two teams combine to smash out 27 hits and commit nine errors.
The Tourists scored first on an RBI single by Brian Humphries scoring Taylor Featherston (3-5, three runs, two RBI's) to make it 1-0. After a walk to Trevor Story, and then Sam Mende hit by a pitch to start the 2nd inning, there was a 39 minute rain delay. Asheville came out on fire after the delay with another hit by pitch, followed by three straight singles. Five runs scored in the inning to put the score at 6-0 Asheville.
Gary Sanchez (1-4, two runs, three RBI) hit his fourth homer of the year in the third inning, a three run shot, to cut the lead in half. Asheville added two runs in the third inning, and one more in the fourth, to take a 9-3 lead to the sixth inning. That is where the game really got interesting.
Charleston scored eight runs in the top of the sixth on six hits, a walk, a hit by pitch, and four costly Tourist errors. The score was 11-9 RiverDogs going to the home half of the sixth, but Asheville could not be held down. They bounced right back with six runs on four hits, three walks, and an error. Kelvin de Leon homered in the eighth, his fourth of the year, to make the score 15-12, but Charleston would get no closer.
Offensively, the RiverDogs were paced by Dante Bichette, Jr. who was 4-5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. Ben Gamel was 3-5, and both Cito Culver and Tyler Austin chipped in with two hits apiece. For Asheville, Featherston and Jared Simon each led the team with three hits.
Scottie Allen started for Charleston and finished four innings allowing seven hits, eight runs, one walk, and three strikeouts. Mariel Checo (5-1) got tagged with his first loss of the season giving up four runs on only one hit and four walks in an inning. Nelson Gonzalez picked up the win for the Tourists after allowing five unearned runs on three hits in one inning to move his record to 3-1.
Game two of the big three game series is Tuesday with righty Will Oliver (1-2, 3.94 ERA) on the mound for the RiverDogs, and righty Chris Jensen (5-1, 4.50 ERA) throwing for Asheville. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.