Asheville, NC-- The Asheville Tourists shutout the Rome Braves 6-0 on Friday night in front of the largest crowd of the season at McCormick Field. Asheville dawned pink jerseys for Breast Cancer Awareness Night and the fans went home happy with a victory followed by the season's first post-game fireworks show.
In the bottom of the second, Jason Stolz singled to right on a hit and run with Dillon Thomas at first base. The ball was misplayed in right field by Joey Meneses and Thomas raced around the bases to put the Tourists up 1-0. Two batters later, Max White drove in Stolz with a double off the scoreboard in right-center.
White produced an RBI once again in the seventh. His groundout to second base plated Thomas and the Tourists held a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jones connected off Frank LaFreniere with a two-run Home Run to right. Matt Argyropoulos added an RBI single later in the inning to give the Tourists a 6-0 advantage.
The tone was set by the Tourists pitching staff. Ryan Arrowood, who made his first start of the season, pitched three scoreless innings and struck out five. Josh Slaats entered in relief and worked 3.2 shutout frames to pick up the win. Jesse Meaux followed Slaats and retired four Braves hitters; three by way of strikeouts and Raul Fernadez tossed a one, two, three ninth.
Rome's Lucas Sims, who also made his first start of the season, was saddled with the loss. The Braves right-hander surrendered just one earned run in 3.2 innings and struck out seven.
The Tourists and the Braves will face off Saturday night at McCormick Field with the first pitch set for 6:05 pm.