CHARLESTON, SC – A solo homer by Jared Simon in the top of the tenth inning gave the Asheville Tourists a 6-5 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs in the second game of a South Atlantic League doubleheader at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park with 2,972 in attendance. The Tourists won the first game 9-0 behind a complete game shutout by starting pitcher Tyler Anderson.
The RiverDogs are now 56-48 (17-20 in the second half) after dropping both games while Asheville improved to 67-40 (20-17 in the second half).
Philip Wetherell (4-5) and Anderson (9-2) both began the first game with two scoreless innings, but Wetherell yielded the game's first runs in the third. Tyler Massey opened the scoring with an RBI double and, after a single, Harold Riggins doubled in another run. Taylor Featherston (3-3, 2 RBI, run) then struck the big blow, dropping a two-run single into right field to stake the Tourists to a 4-0 lead.
Asheville blew the game open in the seventh, scoring five times to extend the lead to 9-0. Trevor Story (2-2, HR, RBI, 2 runs) started things by crushing one over the wall in left-center for a solo homer, his 14th of the year. Riggins added the second run by lining an RBI single into left and a bases loaded single by David Kandilas plated two more. The Tourists got their final run when Jordan Ribera scored on a fielder's choice.
Anderson encountered no such trouble, as he cruised to a complete game, seven-inning shutout. He allowed only three hits, a double by Kelvin De Leon in the third, a single by Cito Culver in the sixth and a double by Dante Bichette, Jr. in the seventh. The left-hander didn't issue a walk while striking out three.
In game two, Asheville immediately got on the board with three in the first. Consecutive RBI doubles by Riggins and Taylor Featherston accounted for the first two runs and a David Kandilas RBI single capped the early rally.
Eduardo Sosa (3-4, RBI, 2 runs) quickly got the RiverDogs to within two runs when he led off the bottom of the first with his first home run of the year. Story responded with a solo shot of his own to restore the Tourists to a three run lead.
In the third, Charleston's offense came alive and took their first lead of the day. Singles by Cody Grice and Sosa and a walk to Cito Culver loaded the bases with one out, bringing up Tyson Blaser. He took full advantage of the opportunity, launching his first professional home run over the wall in right-center. The RiverDogs fifth grand slam of the year put them ahead 5-4.
That score still stood heading into the top of the seventh, but, with two outs, an RBI double by Featherston (2-5, 2 RBI, run) tied the game for Asheville. The game remained tied until the tenth, when Simon's blast off Ben Paullus (3-2) provided the winning run. Geoff Parker (3-3) fired three scoreless innings of relief for the win and Jefri Hernandez got the last three outs for his 16th save.
BALLPARK FUN: Gullah/Geechee Heritage Night took place during the game, celebrating the history and traditions of this great culture. A few Star Wars enthusiasts dressed as Storm Troopers were on hand, throwing out the first pitch and taking pictures with fans throughout the evening.
COMING UP: The RiverDogs hit the road for eight games starting with four in Greenville and RHP Scottie Allen (3-7, 4.72 ERA) will start against RHP Jason Garcia (5-5, 6.42 ERA) in the first game. The scheduled start time is 7:05 pm. The team will be back home on August 8 to face the Hagerstown Suns in a four game set. The game will feature Law Enforcement Appreciation Night where local law enforcement agencies will receive free tickets. All those 65 or older who come to the game will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda and chips on Senior Wednesday.