Opening Day at McCormick Field had all the makings of a great night for Asheville; a sellout crowd, nice weather, and a close game between the Asheville Tourists and the Augusta GreenJackets.
As the game drew on the visitors started piling up insurance runs and spoiled the Tourists home opener by a final score of 9-5.
Asheville never led in the three-hour forty-four-minute contest; however, the Tourists kept the game interesting most of the way. Augusta plated the game’s first run in the top of the second inning thanks to a lead-off home run. Asheville came back to knot the score in the bottom half when Will Golsan lined a two-out RBI single to right-center that plated Daniel Montano .
The GreenJackets then put together a three-run, two-out rally in the top of the third. The big blow was a two-run single by Shane Matheny that forced the Tourists starting pitcher, Ryan Feltner, to depart sooner than he was hoping for.
In the bottom of the fifth, Johnny Cresto stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and singled into shallow centerfield. Willie MacIver followed with an RBI groundout to bring the Tourists to within a run at 4-3. That was as close as Asheville would come.
Augusta used a two-run eighth and a three-run ninth to extend their lead. The Tourists did manage to plate a two-spot in the bottom of the ninth thanks to pair of wild pitches. Golsan, Montano, Coco Montes , and Terrin Vavra all finished with two hits. Jacob Bird and Nick Kennedy combined to toss 4.1 scoreless frames with eight strikeouts in relief.
Visit www.milb.com/asheville for additional information on the team and to purchase tickets to future games.
Prepared by Doug Maurer / Asheville Tourists.