Vianne Mayo threw six shutout innings for the win as the Asheville Tourists slipped past the Charleston RiverDogs 4-1 in South Atlantic League action in front of 4,874 on Friday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Charleston's fifth straight loss leaves them with a record 56-46 (17-18 in the second half) so far in 2012. Asheville's record now stands at 65-40 (18-17 in second half).
Mayo (4-4) gave up only three hits and two walks in six frames with three strikeouts. After Cito Culver led off the bottom of the first with a double, the RiverDogs didn't get another hit until the sixth. Their best chance to score off Mayo came in that first inning, but Culver was cut down at the plate by right fielder Jared Simon trying to tag on a flyout.
Matt Bashore (1-3) started for Charleston and, for the first four innings, he matched zeroes with Mayo. Heading into the fifth, both teams had no runs on just one hit, but it was in that inning that Asheville broke through. David Kandilas laced an RBI triple into right-center for the first run and he scored the second run when the next batter, Ryan Casteel (2-3, RBI, run), singled back through the middle. That was all Bashore would allow in six innings, along with four hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
The Tourists tacked on a pair in the eighth when Casteel scored on a wild pitch and Samuel Mende (2-4, RBI) whacked an RBI double into left to extend the lead to 4-0. The bullpen did the rest. Relievers Russell Brewer and Kenneth Roberts each pitched a scoreless inning to send the game to the ninth. The RiverDogs got a run in the ninth on an RBI double by Francisco Arcia and managed to bring the tying run to the plate, but Jefri Hernandez got Kelvin De Leon to groundout to shortstop for the final out.
BALLPARK FUN: Asheville manager Joe Mikulik took issue with a call in the first inning and was ejected, but didn't leave before putting on a fireworks show of his own. Mikulik was adamant and animated while arguing a call at third base that culminated with the Asheville manager presenting the actual base to a surprised fan in the front row. The Tourists skipper then took a bow and waved to the crowd before heading to the clubhouse.
COMING UP: On Saturday night, the RiverDogs will start RHP Brett Gerritse (3-5, 3.88 ERA) against LHP Tyler Anderson (8-2, 2.70 ERA) in the second game of this series, with first pitch at 7:05 pm. The RiverDogs are holding the 13th Annual "Kindness Beats Blindness" RP Auction at The Joe, starting at 6 pm and ending in the sixth inning. All the proceeds from the auction will go to MUSC's Storm Eye Institute. General Dynamics Land Systems Force Protection and Rick Hendrick Jeep Chrysler Dodge of North Charleston are sponsoring Military Night, a tribute to all those who are currently serving our country. Tri-county residents can save $1 on tickets at the box office on Go Local Saturday, sponsored by Lowcountry Local First. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free Jorts Patch, courtesy of WTAT Fox 24.