The Asheville Tourists hit three home runs and scored eight unanswered runs on Friday night against the Charleston RiverDogs to erase an early 1-0 deficit and defeat Charleston 8-1 in the series opener at McCormick Field in Asheville in South Atlantic League play.
With the loss, the RiverDogs fall to 30-31 in the second half and 69-60 overall. The Tourists advance to 23-37 in second half play and 61-67 overall with the victory.
Jake Cave continued his hot hitting for Charleston by smacking a double down the left field line to begin the game. Dante Bichette, Jr. later drove Cave in on a sacrifice fly to put the Dogs up 1-0 after half an inning.
That was all the offense Charleston could muster on the night, however.
Derek Jones hit the first of his two homers on the evening for Asheville to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
The bats for the Tourists were back at in the second with two more runs, this time on Ben Waldrip's two run homer.
Up 3-1 in the fourth, Asheville strung together four hits and a sacrifice bunt to bring in three runs. Later in the frame, Jones went deep again. This time with a man on base, Jones homered to right field to finish the scoring in the game and give the Tourists an 8-1. Asheville never looked back.
After five, four hit, one run innings from their starter Andrew Brown, the Tourists' bullpen shut down the Charleston offense.
Shane Broyles, Trent Blank, and Jacob Newberry combined to allow no runs on four hits and fanned five. Brown earned the win to remain perfect and move to 7-0 on the season.
For the RiverDogs, starter Derek Varnadore gave up six hits, six runs, two homers, and struckout two in three innings en route to the loss to fall to 1-7. John Brebbia allowed two runs on two hits in three innings of work, and then Kelvin Castro struckout two in two scoreless frames to finish the game for Charleston.
COMING UP: Game two of this three game series is Saturday night at McCormick Field in Asheville at 6:05. Charleston will send out RHP Brett Gerritse (8-7, 3.74 ERA) and the Tourists will start RHP T.J. Oakes (9-8, 4.47 ERA). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.