The Asheville Tourists defeated the Charleston RiverDogs in walk-off fashion on Tuesday night with a thrilling squeeze bunt by Coco Montes in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The bunt scored Will Golsan from third and ensured Asheville a 3-2 series opening win.
Montes stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and one out in a 2-2 game in the bottom of the ninth. Asheville’s skipper, Robinson Cancel, dialed up the safety squeeze bunt and Montes executed it to perfection. Coco’s bunt shot up the first base line and Charleston’s Mitchell Robinson attempted to field it and throw out Golsan at the plate. Will was too fast and he slid across the dish for the game-winning run.
Asheville rode the performance of their starting pitcher, Alfredo Garcia, for most of the night. Garcia delivered his best start of the season by far. The left-hander threw six shutout innings and tied his season high with nine strikeouts. Garcia scattered three hits and turned the game over to the bullpen in the seventh.
PJ Poulin and Riley Pint each worked a scoreless inning in relief but Alexander Martinez had trouble nailing it down in the top of the ninth. The RiverDogs plated two runs off Martinez to tie the game and force Asheville to bat in the bottom of the ninth.
The Tourists built their 2-0 lead over the first eight innings. Willie MacIver drove in Montes with an RBI groundout in the third and Golsan plated Danny Edgeworth with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Asheville’s pitching staff totaled 15 strikeouts on the night and Edgeworth’s two base hits led the way offensively.
Visit www.milb.com/asheville to view the Tourists’ schedule and to purchase tickets to upcoming games.
Prepared by Doug Maurer / Asheville Tourists.