Asheville, NC - A perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt in the tenth inning propelled the Asheville Tourists to a 3-2, extra-inning win over the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday afternoon. The GreenJackets dropped four of five to the Tourists in the series and went just 1-8 in nine games this season at Asheville's McCormick Field.
With the bases loaded and one out in the tenth, Sam Mende broke from third base for the Tourists as David Kandilas bunted safely down the third base line to bring home the game-winner. Kyle Vazquez (1-2) took the loss, running into trouble in the tenth after firing a perfect ninth. Vazquez allowed a leadoff double in the tenth and after issuing an intentional walk to set up the force play, he hit Harold Riggins to load the bases.
The GreenJackets drew first blood for the first time in the series, getting a two-out run in the first on an RBI single from Ben Thomas. In the sixth, Jose Flores hit a solo home run to give the GreenJackets a 2-0 edge.
Edwin Escobar had held the Tourists hitless until the fifth inning, but was touched up for two runs on three hits when Asheville tied the game in the sixth. Mende doubled with one out in the inning and it appeared as though Escobar would get out of the inning unscathed after Riggins struck out for the second out and Tyler Massey hit a dribbler up the first base line. Escobar's rushed throw to first went wide to put Massey on base. Mende, never breaking stride, beat the throw to the plate from Flores to score Asheville's first run as Massey took second on the throw home. Jordan Ribera stepped up next and doubled home Massey to tie the game at two.
Escobar became the third straight GreenJackets starter to fire seven innings in the series, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out six. Kenneth Roberts (3-1) got the win in relief for Asheville, firing two scoreless innings.
The GreenJackets had two on with one out in the top of the tenth before grounding into an inning-ending double play to send the game to the bottom of the tenth. For the Tourists, it was their fourth walkoff win of the year and second in the finale of a series with the GreenJackets at McCormick Field.
After an off day on Monday, the GreenJackets return home to open an eight-game homestand. Clayton Blackburn (6-2, 2.95) takes the ball for the GreenJackets and will face Greenville's Luis Diaz (2-5, 7.11). 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. 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.