The Tourists exploded offensively in the rubber game of a five-game series against the Sand Gnats Sunday afternoon, collecting a season-high 25 hits in a 12-3 victory. Asheville starter Ethan Hollingsworth allowed a leadoff triple in the top of the first and a sacrifice fly before shutting Savannah down through the sixth inning. Every member of the Tourists lineup hit safely at least twice, with seven different players driving in runs, and eight Tourists coming around to score.
After Savannah put up a run in the top of the first, the Tourists took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Scott Robinson led off with a double and scored on Delta Cleary’s triple to tie the game at 1-1. Cleary then came around to score on a balk before Thomas Field drove in another run with a base hit to make it 3-1.
Asheville put up three more in the bottom of the fourth on and RBI triple by Carlos Martinez, a sacrifice fly by Scott Robinson, and an RBI base hit by Kiel Roling. The Tourists carried their 6-1 lead into the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tyler Massey got in on the fun with an RBI base hit that drove in Jordan Pacheco, making it 7-1 Tourists. Ethan Hollingsworth finally showed signs of fatigue in the top of the seventh, allowing back-to-back solo homeruns to Sean Ratliff and Wilmer Flores, cutting the lead to 7-3. Hollingsworth would exit before finishing the inning, having gone 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and eight strikeouts. Tyler Trice came on to relieve Hollingsworth with a runner on second, and struck out each of the two batters he faced to end the threat.
The score remained 7-3 until Asheville put things away in the bottom of the eighth with five more runs. David Christensen led off with a solo homerun, then singles by Field, Massey, and Ryan Peisel pushed across another run, making it 9-3. Delta Cleary picked up an RBI single to push the lead to 10-3 before Kiel Roling drove in his second and third runs of the night with another base hit, completing the 12-3 rout.
The Tourists (20-30) will have an off day Monday before heading to Greenville (25-23) for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. Asheville will send RHP Robinson Fabian (1-4, 5.96) to the mound for game one, Tuesday in Greenville. You can listen to Tuesday’s game and all 140 Asheville Tourists games live on 100.7 WRES FM or streaming online at www.theashevilletourists.com.