ASHEVILLE, NC – On June 19th the Asheville Tourists finished up the first half of their season. The Tourists concluded their game from the previous night, and played the regular scheduled game to cap off the double-header. The Tourists were behind 6-0 in the first game when play resumed Sunday afternoon, and that is where the score remained the rest of the way. In game two, the Tourists used heart and resilience to come away with an 8-7 win in extras.
In the series finale, the Augusta GreenJackets jumped out in front of the Tourists 3-0, but Asheville snapped a 16.2 consecutive inning scoreless streak when Chandler Laurent hit a hanging breaking ball out of the park for a two-run homer. The Tourists added one more tying the game 3-3 heading to the bottom of the fifth.
The GreenJackets answered the Tourists rally by kicking their lead back to 6-3 with a three-run frame. However, Asheville would not surrender and Brett Tanos delivered in the sixth. Tanos came to the plate with two runners on and drove the ball over the left field wall for his first Home Run of the season. The three-run shot tied the score 6-6 and the Tourists had the momentum.
In the bottom of the sixth, the GreenJackets picked up a two-out single to score one and sent the Tourists to the brink. Asheville needed one run in the seventh to keep the game alive, and they received it when Bryce Massanari hit an RBI single to tie the score.
Asheville held strong in the bottom of the seventh and took the lead in the eighth on a Mark Tracy sacrifice fly. Josh Mueller worked the bottom of the eighth and earned the save in a contest that was only scheduled for seven innings.
In the previous game that was concluded prior to the 8-7 Tourists win; Augusta made it seven straight losses for the Toursists. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead off Asheville’s starter Juan Gonzalez on Saturday night. The rains came and the game was suspended until Sunday where both teams went scoreless the rest of the way. Erik Stavert for Asheville worked four scoreless innings in his first relief appearance of the year.
With the first half in the books, the Tourists along with the rest of the South Atlantic League will have their record reset at 0-0. Asheville needs to finish in first place in the Southern division in the second half in order to clinch a playoff berth this season. The Tourists will open the second half on Thursday, June 23 at McCormick Field as they play host to the Rome Braves.