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GreenJackets Hammer the Tourists 15-5

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Tourists dropped their sixth game in a row Friday night, falling 15-5 to the Augusta GreenJackets. The Tourists fell way behind early and did not have enough offensively to climb out of the early hole.

Augusta scored once in the first inning and added eight more in the second. The GreenJackets sent 12 men to the plate in the second inning and the eight runs scored was the most an opponent has plated in one inning against the Tourists all season.

Tourists starting pitcher Tyler Matzek (0-2, 14.00) only last 1.1 innings while being charged for eight runs. Matzek walked a season high six batters. Josh Hungerman came on in relief and pitched 4.1 innings, but was tagged for four runs even though two runs came home to score after Hungerman left the game with runners on base.

Asheville’s best inning offensively came in the third. Cristhian Adames hit a two-run double and later came home on Kyle Parker’s single to center. Avery Barnes finished the game 2-for-3 and contributed on the last two Tourists runs. Barnes tripled home Russell Wilson in the fourth and hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth that brought home Mark Tracy.

The Tourists cut the GreenJackets lead to 10-5 but Augusta plated a pair in the bottom of the sixth and added three more in the eighth. Even though the Tourists were level with the GreenJackets in hits, Augusta drew 11 walks in the game and scored nine of the runners who reached via the base on balls. The 11 walks issued by the Tourists was also a season high for Asheville’s pitching staff.

Justin Schumer (3-2, 5.83) took the victory for Augusta going five innings and allowing four runs on eight hits. Schumer, who played at UNC-Asheville last season, really shined in the first inning. After allowing a lead-off triple to Adames, he struck out Joey Wong, Bryce Massanari, and Kyle Parker in succession to set the tone for Augusta.

Adames finished the game 3-for-5 for the Tourists and came up just a Home Run shy of the cycle. Asheville and Augusta are back in action Saturday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.

Tourists Drop Fourth in a Row, 2-1 to Crawdads

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – In a pitcher’s duel at McCormick Field Tuesday night, the Hickory Crawdads out-dueled the Asheville Tourists to win their third straight over Asheville 2-1. The Tourists have lost their last four ballgames after winning eight of their previous 11.

Edwar Cabrera (4-2, 3.14) pitched eight strong innings for the Tourists, but came away with a tough luck loss. Cabrera’s only other loss this season came on opening day; when the Tourists lost to the Crawdads in Hickory.

Ramon Mendez (6-1, 3.62), who started opening day for Hickory, earned the victory going seven innings and allowing just one run. Joe Van Meter worked the final two innings and picked up the save.

Hickory’s Christian Villanueva led off the second inning with a solo home run, his second in as many days, and provided Hickory with a 1-0 lead. Crawdads first-baseman Andrew Clark followed the Home Run with a double and came home to score later in the inning on an RBI single by Alejandro Selen.

Trailing 2-0, the Tourists answered in the bottom of the second. Corey Dickerson doubled to shallow center and Helder Velazquez followed with a double off the scoreboard in right-center plating Dickerson. The double by Velazquez cut the Crawdads lead in half at 2-1.

The score remained the same the rest of the way as Cabrera and Mendez continued to work scoreless innings one after the other. Asheville stranded two runners in scoring position in the third, and left a runner at third base in the seventh but did not threaten otherwise.

The Tourists and the Crawdads are scheduled to play the series finally Wednesday night at 7:05pm in Asheville. Wednesday night’s game is the final home contest for the Tourists in the first half of the schedule. Asheville will return home after the All-Star break with fresh record at 0-0.

What’s Happening in Tourists’ Town June 12th – June 15th

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Tourists return to McCormick Field on Sunday, June 12th as they take on the Hickory Crawdads. This home stand includes an Ingles Family Fun Day, Acropolis Pizza Kids Eat Free Night, Buy One Get One Free ticket special followed by a Goodwill Industries night.

Sunday June 12th is Ingles Family Fun Day with post game autographs and Kids Run the Bases. The Cherokee Indians will be out all game long. Be sure to sign up on the concourse for their vacation giveaway sponsored by Cherokee Fun Park! Game time is 4:05 PM.

Acropolis Pizza is back on June 13th as our sponsor for Kids Eat Free Night. Be sure to bring out the family and enjoy a slice of Acropolis Pizza to all children 12 years and younger. Game time is 7:05 PM.

Tuesday, June 14th is buy one get one free general admission ticket with a Bi-Lo advantage card or Kraft Cheese wrapper to the box office. Game time is 7:05 PM.

Wednesday is Goodwill Industries Night. Bring three gently used items of clothing to the ballpark to earn a complimentary general admission ticket. June 15th is also senior appreciation night compliments of Humana. All seniors ages 65 years and older receive complimentary general admission tickets on behalf of Humana. Complimentary tickets must be picked up from the Tourist box office in person.

Following June 15th, the Tourists return to McCormick Field on Thursday, June 23rd at 7:05pm. To stay up to date on all the upcoming events and future promotions, please visit our website at www.theashevilletourists.com! We will see you at the ballpark and go Tourists!

Sand Gnats Blank Tourists to Win Series Finale 2-0

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – On Tuesday morning, the Savannah Sand Gnats bounced back to hand the Tourists a 2-0 defeat at McCormick Field. Less than 24 hours after walking 12 Tourist hitters in one game, Savannah issued only one free pass and scattered seven hits. The Tourists had not been shut out all season prior to the defeat.

Josh Hungerman (1-3, 5.31) started for Asheville and pitched well in his four innings of work. His only blemish was a solo Home Run that Albert Cordero hit in the top of the fourth inning. Josh Mueller worked the next three innings and did not allow a run. After Bruce Kern threw a scoreless inning, Juan Perez allowed one run in the ninth when Corey Dickerson and Joey Wong let a ball drop between them with two outs.

Savannah sent Yohan Almonte to the mound and he along with Ryan Fraser (3-4, 3.25) held the Tourists scoreless throughout. Josh Edgin came in to retire the final batter of the game and was awarded his 12th save of the season.

Savannah won two of the three games in the series, but the Asheville Tourists finished their home-stand with a 4-3 record. The Sand Gnats now lead the Tourists by 4.5 games in the South Atlantic League’s Southern division with 11 games remaining before the All-Star Break.

Home Struggles Continue as Tourists Fall 13-6

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The home-stand started off on a sour note for Asheville as they dropped game one to the Augusta GreenJackets 13-6. The Tourists are now 9-16 at McCormick Field this season and fall 5.5 games back of first place Savannah in the South Atlantic League’s Southern division with the loss.

Each team scored one run in the first inning, but the GreenJackets put up three more in the top of the third. Tourists starting pitcher Peter Tago (1-1, 4.72) lasted only 2.1 innings as his pitch count quickly rose by issuing five walks.

Josh Hungerman came on in relief but he allowed three runs in just less than three innings. After five innings complete, Augusta led 7-2. The Tourists second run came in the fourth when Corey Dickerson grounded out to short; scoring Dustin Garneau came from third.

ASHEVILLE, NC – The GreenJackets tacked on three more in the sixth and one more in the eighth to go ahead 11-2. Finally the Tourists mounted some offense in the bottom of the eighth by sending nine men to the plate and scoring four runs. Asheville received RBI sacrifice flies from Avery Barnes and Cristhian Adames while scoring their other two runs on wild pitches.

Augusta continued to hit the Tourists pitching by adding two more in the ninth off Taylor Reid. When it was all said and done, the GreenJackets finished with 13 runs on 16 hits. It could have been more, but Augusta left 14 runners on base. They scored in seven of the nine innings and never sent less than five to the plate in one frame.

It was a nice homecoming for Augusta’s starting pitcher, Justin Schumer (2-2, 7.12), who pitched four innings and allowed two runs on five hits. Schumer received a big ovation from the Tourists crowd because he was a star in college at UNC-Asheville.

Asheville will look to rebound Thursday night as they send Edwar Cabrera to the mound to face Augusta’s Taylor Rogers in game two of the series.

What’s Happening in Tourists’ Town June 1st – June 7th

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Tourists return to McCormick Field on Wednesday, June 1st as they take on the Augusta GreenJackets and will end the seven game series against the Savannah Sand Gnats. This home stand includes our first fireworks night of the season as well as a cap giveaway night.

Wednesday, June 1st is Senior Appreciation Night compliments of Humana. All Seniors ages 65 years and older will receive complimentary General Admission tickets on behalf of Humana.

Wild Wing Café, Rock 104.9 and Star 104.3 FM present Thirsty Thursday on June 2nd. Enjoy special discount prices on select beers and Pepsi products. Also, be sure to check out the on-field activities including, wild wing eating contest and the pedal cart race.

Friday is our first Fireworks night of the 2011 season. Come out and enjoy an electrifying fireworks display sponsored by Asheville Saving Bank. Also, come out and support the Cancer Centers of North Carolina-Asheville. They are one of our special sponsors this season.

June 4th is Cap Giveaway Night. The first 1,000 fans will receive a 2011 Asheville Tourists ball cap with our new logo sponsored by Asheville Orthopaedic Associates. Reminder, every Saturday first pitch is at 6:05PM; be sure to come on out and support your Tourists!

Sunday, June 5th the Tourists swat the Savannah Sand Gnats. Join us for post-game autograph sessions and Kids Run the bases following each Sunday Tourists’ Home game compliments of Ingles. This Sunday, first pitch is at 4:05 PM, don’t miss it!

Monday, June 6th all children ages 12 years and younger receive a complimentary slice of pizza and small pepsi product on behalf of Acropolis Pizza. Bring your children out to the ball park for Kids Eat Free Night!

Tuesday, June 7th is High Touch High Tech Education Day. It is a special 11:05 AM game. When you purchase a Kraft Singles product, bring your package wrapper to an Asheville Tourists game for a steal of a deal. Also on Tuesdays, when you show your BI-LO bonus card at the Tourists ticket office you will receive a buy one get one free general admission ticket offer to select Tuesday Asheville home games! < p>

The Tourists have a new look and are playing great baseball. Plan on coming out and supporting the team! Following June 7th, the Tourists return to McCormick Field on Sunday, June 12th at 4:05 PM. To stay up to date on all the upcoming events and future promotions, please visit our website at www.theashevilletourists.com! We will see you at the ballpark and go Tourists!

Eight in the 8th the Difference in Tourists Win

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – For most of Monday evening’s game against the Greenville Drive, it looked as if the Tourists were a step behind. That all changed in the eighth inning when the Tourists put up eight runs in the frame. Asheville held on in the ninth to pick up a much needed 9-7 victory.

The Tourists did score the game’s first run when Corey Dickerson doubled home Brett Tanos in the top of the first. The Drive answered right back with a run in the bottom of the first on three infield singles. Greenville scored three more in the second by sending nine men to the plate, but Tourists starter Josh Slaats (1-1, 7.92) forced Greenville to leave the bases loaded.

Drive first baseman Drew Hedman made it 5-1 Greenville with an RBI single in the fourth. Asheville continued to struggle at the plate until they came to bat in the eighth. Trailing by four, Kyle Parker led off with a single to right. Dickerson followed with a single to left and the Tourists did not stop there.

After Avery Barnes moved the runners up with a groundout, Dustin Garneau singled to left scoring both Parker and Dickerson. Joey Wong wasted no time with a bunt single up the third base line and Cristhian Adames came to the plate with runners at first and second. Adames hit a ball to left field and it cleared the green monster for a three-run blast. The Home Run was Adames’ second of the season and it put the Tourists in front 6-5.

Chandler Laurent was next and he was hit by a pitch. Laurent immediately stole second and went to third on an overthrow by Drive catcher Christian Vazquez. Tanos walked to put runners at the corners, but Bryce Massanari went down swinging for out number two.

Parker came to the plate for the second time in the inning and doubled to right-center scoring both Laurent and Tanos. Dickerson again followed with a single and Parker raced home from second capping off the eight-run inning and catapulting the Tourists in front 9-5.

Greenville went scoreless in the eighth, but did score two in the bottom of the ninth before bringing the tying run to the plate against Juan Perez. The Tourists reliever buckled down and forced Greenville’s left-fielder Brandon Jacobs to fly out to Dickerson for the final out of the game.

With the win, the Tourists snapped a three-game skid and have a chance to take the series from the Drive with a win on Tuesday night. The eight-run inning by Asheville tied a season high for the most runs scored in one inning as the Tourists put up an eight spot on May 13 in the first inning at Lexington.

Late Rallies Earn Braves Both Games

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Rome Braves stunned the Asheville Tourists with two separate come from behind victories Wednesday night, sweeping the double header at McCormick Field. The Braves won the first game 8-7 and took game two by a final of 5-2.

In game one, The Tourists fell behind 3-1 early, but rallied for four runs in the fourth inning. Joey Wong and Helder Velazquez each hit RBI singles and Kyle Parker connected with a two-run double in the frame. Asheville added one more in the fifth on Corey Dickerson’s seventh Home Run of the season.

The Braves made it a 6-4 game with one run in the sixth, but Velazquez kicked it right back out to a three run lead with a lead-off blast in the bottom of the inning.

Leading 7-4, the Tourists only needed three outs to take the win. Unfortunately it was not to be as Rome rallied to score four runs in the top of the seventh. The Tourists were able to retire the first batter of the inning, but then four straight hits tied the game and a two-out single aided by an error allowed the go-ahead run to score.

In game two, Asheville fell behind early 1-0, but Mark Tracy singled in Bryce Massanari and Chandler Laurent to put the Tourists out in front 2-1. The game remained tied 2-1 until the sixth inning when some shaky defense hurt the Tourists again. With runners at first and second with two outs, David Rohm hit a grounder to Velazquez that could have been a double play. The ball bounced passed Velazquez and the tying run came into score.

After a walk to the number nine hitter, Matt Lipka hit a bases clearing double to give Rome a 5-2 lead. The Braves would hang on in the last two innings to hold on for another win. Lipka finished the two games with a total of four doubles. Prior to game one, Lipka had no extra base hits all year in 151 at-bats.

This marks the second time this season that the Braves have swept a double header from the Tourists.

Former Asheville Tourists Manager Elected to Hall of Fame

Friday, May 13th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Ray Hathaway, who managed the Asheville Tourists for six seasons during the 1950s and 1960s, has been elected to the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame. SAL president Eric Krupa made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, with Hathaway joining former Gastonia Rangers player Mike Hargrove and Frank Perdue, the former president of Perdue Farms, in the Class of 2011.

A resident of Weaverville, N.C., Hathaway was the manager of the 1961 Asheville Tourists, champions of the South Atlantic League with an 87-50 record and considered to be the best team in Asheville history. The former pitcher, who had a cup of coffee in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, took over the Tourists’ dugout helm in 1951 in the Tri-State League before returning for the 1953 and 1954 campaigns. The Tourists won the Tri-State League regular-season title in 1954. Hathaway rejoined the Tourists in 1961 and remained in the Land of the Sky through the middle of the 1964 slate, when he switched places with Gastonia skipper Bob Clear.

“The Asheville Tourists are thrilled a legend of our franchise receive one of the most prestigious honors in our game,” said Tourists president Brian DeWine. “Ray Hathaway owned the Tourists’ record for managerial victories for more than four decades. He brought the city some of the best professional baseball it has ever seen, and we are extremely honored that he will be representing the Tourists and the Asheville franchise in the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame.”

Hathaway’s managerial career started in 1947 when he guided the Santa Barbara Dodgers to the California League championship. He also won the Ohio-Indiana League title as skipper of the Zanesville Dodgers in 1948. In addition to his Asheville tenure, his other managerial stints include the Pueblo Dodgers in the Western League (1949-50, 1956-57), Newport News Dodgers in the Piedmont League (1953), Elmira Pioneers in the Eastern League (1955), Tri-City Braves in the Northwest League (1958), Columbus/Gastonia Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1959), Savannah Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1960), Raleigh Cardinals in the Carolina League (1965), Lewiston Broncs in the Northwest League (1967), Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League (1969), Savannah Indians in the Southern League (1970), Jacksonville Suns in the Dixie Association (1971), Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League (1972) and the Wilson Pennants in the Carolina League (1973). Over the course of his 25-year managerial career, Hathaway won 1,441 games.

The late Bob Terrell, long-time sports editor of the Asheville Citizen-Times, said, “If I were starting a major league franchise, I would hire Ray Hathaway as my manager. He had the unique ability to get the most out of his players and was a master of baseball strategy that led to a lot of wins for his teams.”

The Tourists will honor Hathaway for his election to the SAL Hall of Fame at a game to be determined during the 2011 season. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the SAL All-Star Luncheon on Tuesday, June 21, in Salisbury, Maryland, home of the Delmarva Shorebirds

Wild Night in Asheville Favors the Tourists 10-8

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Tourists showed resilience and heart in Wednesday night’s 10-8 victory over the Drive, and they did it without their leader in the dugout. Manager Joe Mikulik made an early exit after being tossed for the first time this season.

Asheville started strong once again. The Tourists scored three runs in the first inning on an RBI double from Kyle Parker and a two-run double by Dustin Garneau. Drive starting pitcher Anthony Ranaudo (2-1, 3.60) had to throw 35 pitches in the frame and he only lasted 2.2 innings.

Greenville tied the score with a three-run Home Run by Bryce Brentz who finished the game 4-for-5. The two-out long ball cleared the right field wall in the top of the third inning, but Asheville battled back in the bottom of the third.

Helder Velazquez led off the inning with a towering Home Run to left that gave the Tourists a 4-3 lead. After Garneau was hit by a pitch, Corey Dickerson doubled putting runners at second and third. Chandler Laurent then scored Garneau with a double, but Dickerson was held at third. That is when Joe Mikulik was sent over the edge.

Russell Wilson was hit by a pitch that should have loaded the bases, but the umpire would not allow Wilson to go to first. A frustrated Mik approached the umpire, but things escalated quickly and Joe was tossed after he spiked his helmet on the ground. After a flurry of words and Joe giving the umpire’s pants a dirt shower, Mik departed to the clubhouse.

Wilson ended up striking out and then Joey Wong struck out looking at an inside fastball. Wong did not agree with the call, and while he was walking back to the dugout, Joey was tossed from the game as well.

Things settled down though mainly for the Greenville pitching staff. After the Mik ejection, Tourists hitters combined to strike out nine straight times.

The Drive tied the game on a two-run Home Run from Lucas LeBlanc in the fourth, and took the lead on an RBI double from Brentz in the fifth.

Asheville was able to draw even in the seventh, when Garneau hit a two-out single to center that brought Velazquez to the plate. The Drive went ahead by one again in the next half inning, 7-6, on an infield single by Felix Sanchez.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Tourists rallied and showed their true grit. With men at the corners and no outs, Russell Wilson hit a single to left tying the game 7-7. Laurent was then picked off second base, but Cristhian Adames singled, putting two runners on for Rafael Ortega. The Tourists centerfielder hit his second Home Run in as many days and provided the Tourists a 10-7 lead.

Greenville did score once in the ninth off Tourists reliever Juan Perez, but the closer was able to nail down the win and earn his seventh save of the year.

The Tourists now sit alone in first place in the South Atlantic League’s Southern division.