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Asheville Tourists Rally Falls Short

Friday, May 13th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Another high scoring game at McCormick Field entertained the Thirsty Thursday crowd but the Tourists came up short 16-12 against the Drive. Asheville dug themselves a deep hole early on, but made a valiant comeback before finally falling in the end.

Tourists starter Albert Campos did not make it through the first inning. Greenville put six runs on the scoreboard before the Tourists had a chance to swing the bats. The Drive tacked on three more in the second, going ahead 9-0.

Asheville was able to do a little damage in the third, scoring two runs in the frame. Kyle Parker hit an RBI single and Helder Velazquez scored on a Drive error. Greenville answered right back with three runs in the fourth inning, extending their lead to 10 runs at 12-2.

Led by skipper Joe Mikulik’s will to never give up, the Tourists went on a rally in the next two innings and scored nine runs total. In the fifth, Velazquez hit a solo Home Run, Mark Tracy had an RBI Fielder’s Choice, and Cristhian Adames delivered a two-run single.

In the sixth, the Tourists tacked on five more. Two Asheville runners scored on wild pitches, Tracy drilled a two-run double, and Joey Wong connected with an RBI double but made it to third on an overthrow from Drive right-fielder Bryce Brentz. Wong came in to score on one of the wild pitches and cut it to a one-run game.

The Drive capitalized on some shaky Tourists defense to score two in the seventh and then added two more in the ninth going ahead 16-11. Asheville was able to score once in the bottom of the ninth on a Rafael Ortega sacrifice fly, but that was all the Tourists would score.

The game featured 28 runs on 29 hits and the Tourists and Drive ended up splitting the series with each team winning two games.

Ortega’s 5 RBI’s Lead Asheville Tourists to 9-5 Victory

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Tourists gave the Drive a wake-up call in Tuesday night’s 9-5 victory. Asheville dominated from the onset, taking an 8-0 lead and holding off a potential Greenville comeback.

In the bottom of the first inning, Rafael Ortega led off with a Home Run to right-centerfield. The long-ball was Ortega’s first of the season and a perfect start for his amazing night at the plate.

In the second the Tourists batted around, scoring three runs to take a 4-0 lead after two. Dustin Garneau led off with a single and went to third on an Avery Barnes single. Barnes was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a double. On a wild pitch and ball four to Russell Wilson, Garneau raced home.

Cristhian Adames followed with a double, one of his three hits on the evening, and moved Wilson to third. Ortega found himself at the plate once again, and he doubled with a shot down the right field line, scoring both runners.

In the fourth, Asheville tacked on two more with a Sacrifice Fly from Kyle Parker, and an RBI ground-out by Bryce Massanari. Ortega delivered a single in the two run frame.

In the fifth inning, the Tourists threatened again. Asheville loaded the bases with one out for none other than Rafael Ortega. Needing a triple for the cycle, the Tourists center-fielder hit a drive to the right-centerfield gap. Two runs would score on the play, making the score 8-0, but Adames stopped at third base and Ortega had to settle for a double.

Ortega did have another chance to complete the cycle, but he flew out to the warning track in right field his final at-bat. Had the ball been hit about ten feet further and connected with the 42-foot wall, he likely would have made history with the first Tourists cycle since 2007.

In the top of the eighth, Greenville found some offense. The Drive scored five runs on seven hits while sending 11 men to the plate. Six consecutive hitters reached base with two outs in the inning.

Dustin Garneau answered in the bottom of the frame with his fourth Home Run of the season, a solo shot making the score 9-5. That is where it would remain as the Tourists snapped their four-game losing streak.

Josh Mueller (1-1, 3.12) was sensational for Asheville. He went five innings, allowed no runs on only three hits, and struck out three; earning his first win of the year. Brad McAtee followed with two perfect innings in relief. After the Drive came within three runs, Juan Perez recorded the final four outs of the game to earn his sixth save of the season.

Asheville Tousits Get Swept by Shorebirds

Monday, May 9th, 2011

ASHVILLE, NC – The Shorebirds made it three in a row over the Tourists on Sunday afternoon with a 10-5 series finale win at McCormick Field. Asheville looked to be in control early, but Delmarva rallied to score the final nine runs of the game en route to the victory.

Asheville jumped out early with a four-run first inning. The Tourists loaded the bases on a Helder Velazquez single, a Bryce Massanari double, and Brett Tanos was hit by a pitch. Corey Dickerson came to the plate and hit a double into left-centerfield scoring all three runners. Avery Barnes then clubbed a double off the wall to score Dickerson.

The Tourists and Shorebirds would trade runs in the second and third innings but after that, things fell apart for Asheville. With the score 5-1, Kipp Schutz hit a lead-off home run in the fourth. Then in the fifth, Tourists starter Ricardo Ferrer (0-3, 9.00) worked into some trouble. The Shorebirds scored three runs before Josh Hungerman relieved Ferrer. After a sacrifice fly, the Shorebirds had taken a 6-5 lead.

In the sixth, The Shorebirds put runners at second and third with no outs. Hungerman was able to retire the next two batters with incident, but after a walk to Mike Flacco, Michael Ohlman came to the plate with the bases loaded. Ohlman hit the first pitch he saw from Hungerman over the centerfield wall for a Grand Slam. All four runs in the inning were unearned.

The 10-5 score would hold until the end of the game and the Shorebirds took the series at McCormick Field three games to one. Michael Ohlman finished the game 4-for-4 with 5 RBI’s for Delmarva.

Offensively the Tourists were led by Barnes, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two stolen bases. Dickerson contributed two doubles and Velazquez also had a two hit day. Brad McAtee and Taylor Reid combined to pitch three scoreless innings in relief, but the offense was unable to put a rally together late in the game.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

Asheville Tourists’ Dickerson, Wong Go Perfect in 10-2 Win

Friday, May 6th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Tourists began their eight-game home-stand with an impressive 10-2 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds. The Tourists continued to swing the bats well and the pitching came through with a solid performance Thursday night.

Delmarva began the first inning with a jolt. They loaded the bases with no outs. Kipp Schutz then singled in a run. Mike Flacco came to the plate next and split the right center-field gap for what looked like extra bases. One run came in to score, but Manny Machado fell down in pain between second and third base and could not recover.

The Tourists tagged out Machado and held the Shorebirds to just two runs in the inning. Machado left the game as he limped off the field with assistance from the Shorebirds training staff.

After that, it was all Tourists. Avery Barnes hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, making it a 2-1 ballgame. In the third, Joey Wong singled home Russell Wilson tying the score.

Asheville then broke the game open with a three-run blast by Helder Velazquez in the fifth. The Tourists would add four more runs in the sixth.

Corey Dickerson led off the inning with a Home Run. After back-to-back hits by Dustin Garneau and Barnes, Wong picked up an RBI single to left. Two batters later, Velazquez double to the right center-field wall driving in both Barnes and Wong.

With the score 9-2, Dickerson led off the seventh inning with another Home Run. Dickerson finished the game 4-for-4 with two Home Runs and two doubles. Wong also finished 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and 2 RBI’s. Velazquez continued his amazing hitting coming up with a 2-for-4 performance including a Home Run, a double, and 5 RBI’s.

Josh Hungerman (1-2, 4.74) earned the win by pitching four scoreless innings in relief of Tourists starter Josh Mueller (0-1, 4.38). Hungerman did not walk a batter and fanned six in the outing.

The Tourists look to make it two-in-a-row against the Shorebirds on Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.

Asheville Tourists to Host Annual Youth Clinic

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Tourists will host their annual youth clinics at McCormick Field on Saturday, May 7, and Saturday, May 21. From 10 a.m. until noon both days, the clinics will be conducted by the team’s coaching staff and players and will offer instruction on the fundamentals of baseball to kids age 5 and up.

“We’ve been hosting our clinics for nearly two decades and really enjoy seeing the responses of the kids when they get on the field and start working with the players and coaches,” said Chris Smith, the Tourists’ assistant general manager. “I have kids in high school and even college who come up to me now and say they remember coming to our clinics. It’s a great tradition and one everybody really enjoys.”

Parents of kids participating in the clinic must sign a waiver in the event of an accident. Waivers are available on-line at www.theashevilletourists.com and will also be provided on the day of the clinic.

Following the clinic on May 21, the team will host its annual Meet The Tourists Luncheon at McCormick Field. This year’s event will be catered once again by Texas Roadhouse. Tickets are $5 each, with all of the proceeds supporting the Asheville Tourists Children’s Fund.

The Tourists return to McCormick Field on Thursday, May 5, against the Delmarva Shorebirds to open an eight-game homestand. For more information about tickets, the clinics or the luncheon, contact the Tourists’ front office at (828) 258-0428.

Greenville Drive Defend Flour Field, Beat Asheville Tourists 13-5

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

GREENVILLE, NC – The Greenville Drive handed the Asheville Tourists their first series loss of the season with a 13-5 win in Tuesday afternoon’s series finale. Greenville continued their hot hitting off Tourists pitching by clubbing three Home Runs and using innings of seven and five runs en route to the win.

The game was tight early on with the Drive taking an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Drew Hedman singled home Bryce Brentz with two outs. It could have been 2-0, but Avery Barnes picked up an outfield assist when he threw out Sean Coyle at home plate from left field.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth. Greenville sent ten batters to the plate and tallied seven runs, putting them out in front 8-0. Miles Head delivered his third round tripper of the series in the inning, a three-run shot over the left-centerfield wall.

The game went from bad to worse in the fifth inning. The Drive added five more runs off Asheville relief pitcher Rafael Suarez. Coyle hit a grand slam and Brentz made it back-to-back Home Runs, following with a solo shot.

With the score 13-0, the Tourists were able to find some offense when the Drive went to their bullpen. Asheville scored three runs in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Brett Tanos and a two-run double by Mark Tracy.

The score remained 13-3 until the top of the ninth. Asheville tacked on two more runs when Cristhian Adames hit a Sacrifice Fly to score Barnes and Rafael Ortega singled home Russell Wilson. That was all the damage the Tourists would muster and Greenville took the series three games to one.

Manuel Rivera (4-1, 1.45) took the win for Greenville, pitching five innings, allowing only two hits, and striking out seven Tourists. The Drive and the Tourists now post identical records at 14-12; but the Tourists are ready to begin an eight-game home-stand starting on Thursday night.

Asheville will host the Delmarva Shorebirds for four games and then the Drive will come to McCormick Field where the Tourists will be looking for some revenge.

Experience FRITOS Family Fridays with the Asheville Tourists!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Families have always been an important part of FRITOS corn chips. And what better way to spend some time with your family than at a game at the ballpark. So, mark your calendars and gather the family for some fun on Friday nights.

This summer, at the first Friday home games in May, June, July and August, FRITOS brand is giving special baseball experiences to select lucky families. Attend a FRITOS Family Friday game when randomly selected families will participate in ballpark activities such as: perform PA Announcer duties, be a co-radio broadcaster or even get to toss out a ceremonial first pitch.

And on top of that, bring your empty FRITOS bag or pick up a bag at McCormick Field. Then show the FRITOSĀ® bag at the stadium store during FRITOS Family Friday games to get 10% off Tourists merchandise. Offer good one per person, discount not good on sale merchandise or combined with any other discount.

Grab the family and make Friday nights family night at the ballpark with FRITOS corn chips!

Tourists Fall 18-8 on Education Day

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – In another offensive affair at McCormick Field, the Asheville Tourists cam up on the wrong side of an 18-8 score Wednesday afternoon. The first pitch of the game was delayed for close to an hour because of rain, but the hitting for both teams was ready to go once the game started.

The BlueClaws ended up setting an all-time franchise record for most runs scored in one game. Their previous high was 17 runs set back in 2001. Lakewood used two big innings to do most of their damage. They scored six runs in both the fourth and the eighth.

Asheville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the BlueClaws scored eight unanswered and went ahead 8-2. The Tourists would rally and pull within just one run after seven innings completed but Lakewood would cease the momentum in their next two turns at-bat; scoring nine runs in the final two innings.

The Tourists were led in hits by Helder Velazquez. The Tourists third-baseman delivered three base hits and drove in one. Bryce Massanari hit his third Home Run of the season, all of which have occurred during this home-stand.

Mark Tracy and Corey Dickerson also produced at the dish for Asheville. They each delivered two hits, drove in a run, and scored once. Every Tourists batter in the line-up recorded at least one base hit.

With the loss, Asheville fell to 2-4 on their current nine game home-stand. In three of their four losses, the Tourists have scored seven runs or more.

UNC Asheville’s John Williams Named MVP of Crossfire-ACC All-Star Game

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville senior forward John Williams gave fans at Asheville one more look at his outstanding ability. Williams scored 28 points to lead Crossfire to a 116-113 victory over the ACC All-Stars Saturday night at Reynolds HS.

After the game, Williams was named MVP of the contest. He had five dunks and even hit three 3-pointers in the victory. In addition, John easily won the Slam-Dunk contest held at halftime of the event.

Being named MVP of the game was pretty impressive. The ACC All-Stars were led by ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler.

“It was a lot of fun playing in that kind of environment,” commented Williams on Monday. “The ACC All-Stars pressed us the whole game but we still managed to come out on top.”

Entertaining Tourist Game Ends With Disappointing 4-3 Defeat

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Tourists rallied late Tuesday night, but came up one run short in their series opener against Lakewood by a final score of 4-3. The Tourists had their opportunities, but it seemed like all the breaks went to the BlueClaws.

Lakewood took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning; scoring an unearned run off Tourists starter Josh Mueller (0-0, 3.00). Asheville answered back with one in the fourth when Avery Barnes hit a two-out double to left scoring Joey Wong. Cristian Adames was tagged out on the play after he overran third base and the Tourists would have to settle for just the one run.

The BlueClaws would recapture the lead 2-1 in their next turn at bat, after a one out triple by Edgar Duran that was followed by a sacrifice fly.

Bryce Massanari quickly tied the game in his next plate appearance with a solo home run to deep left centerfield. Massanari’s second home run of the season gave the Tourists the momentum, but Lakewood answered again. The BlueClaws scored the next two runs of the game, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Trailing 4-2, the Tourists had chances to pull even or even go ahead. In the eighth, Asheville had men at the corners with two outs when Wong singled to left making the score 4-3. Adames then hit a grounder to the short-stop who tried to beat Wong to second base himself. The two players arrived at the base simultaneously, but the call went to Lakewood and Asheville was forced to try and win it in the ninth.

Avery Barnes drew a lead-off walk in the final frame, but he was erased when Helder Velazquez grounded into a double play. Ironically, Velazquez did not ground into a single double play last year with Asheville in 273 at bats.

After Massanari grounded out, the Tourists were handed the 4-3 defeat. Barnes and Massanari both ended up 3-for-4 on the game, but it wasn’t enough. The Tourists and BlueClaws will play game two of their five-game series Wednesday morning at 11:05.