Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Asheville, NC – The Asheville Tourists used four runs in the seventh inning to take a big lead and hang on to a win over the Augusta GreenJackets. Despite Shawn Payne’s ninth-inning home run, the Tourists defeated the GreenJackets 8-4 on Independence Day at McCormick Field in Asheville.
Asheville drew first blood on Will Swanner’s first-inning RBI single to take a 1-0 lead. Augusta starter Chris Marlowe gave up three hits and committed an error in the inning, but struck out back-to-back hitters to get out of the inning. From there, Marlowe would retire the next seven hitters before running into trouble in the third inning.
With two outs in the third, Harold Riggins walked and stole second. A throwing error put Riggins on third for Taylor Featherston, who homered off Marlowe to give Asheville a 3-0 lead. Marlowe (1-5) departed after the third inning, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four.
The GreenJackets got back into the game with a run in the fourth inning. With Payne at first and two outs, Jose Cuevas singled deep into the hole at short. Taylor Story’s throw to second for the third out of the inning went wide of the bag and into the Tourists’ bullpen, allowing Payne to score and putting Cuevas at third. After Joe Staley walked, Garrett Buechele grounded out to end the inning and end the Augusta threat on a night where the GreenJackets went 1-11 with runners in scoring position and left nine on the basepaths.
Asheville regained their three-run lead in the fifth on Will Swanner’s solo home run to make it a 4-1 ballgame after the GreenJackets left the bases loaded in the top of the inning. The Tourists put the game away in the seventh, sending eight to the plate and scoring four times to take a commanding 8-1 edge. Riggins, Ryan Casteel and Chandler Laurent hit RBI singles in the inning and the Tourists got another run on a wild pitch.
In the ninth inning, a pair of walks put two runners on for the GreenJackets with two outs when Payne’s three-run home run cut the Asheville lead to four runs. But Ben Thomas struck out on three pitches right after the homer to end the game.
The Tourists got 5.2 solid innings from starter Tyler Anderson (7-2), who allowed an unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out four.
The GreenJackets have now dropped four of their last six and face a Tourists team in this series that’s now won five of their last six. Kyle Crick (3-5, 2.70) takes the ball for Augusta in the second game of the five-game series on Thursday against Chris Jensen (8-2, 4.71). First pitch comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio pregame coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.
The GreenJackets return home to open an eight-game homestand next Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Single-game tickets for any GreenJackets home game are currently available by calling the GreenJackets front office at 706-922-WINS and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.