KANNAPOLIS- The Asheville Tourists took part in their longest game of the season on Monday night. Asheville and Kannapolis played a 4-hour and 22-minute classic that featured 11 innings and comebacks from both sides. In the end, Asheville came out on top 11-9.
The Tourists took a 4-0 lead before the intimidators saw a pitch. Asheville's four-spot in the top of the first included RBI hits from Casey Golden and Ramon Marcelino . The Tourists also plated one on a wild pitch. Golden made it 5-0 with a solo Home Run in the third inning; his 32nd of the season.
Kannapolis did not flinch at the early deficit. The Intimidators scored three in the fourth and added another three in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. The game remained 6-5 until the Tourists performed some comeback magic in the eighth.
Ryan Vilade worked a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, and took third on a throwing error. Todd Czinege stepped to the plate and the reigning South Atlantic League Player of the Week belted an RBI triple to the left-centerfield gap. Czinege then scored on Jeff Moberg 's sacrifice fly.
Asheville survived some controversy in the bottom of the eighth; however, Kannapolis still sent the game to extras with a run in the bottom of the ninth. Both teams exchanged runs in the tenth inning.
In the top of the 11th, Matt Hearn put the Tourists back in front with an RBI bunt single and Matt McLaughlin put the game away with a two-run double to left field. Hayden Roberts finished off Kannapolis in the bottom half by recording a pair of groundouts and a flyout.
The Tourists displayed some of their best mental toughness and grit all season during this victory. The statement win keeps Asheville in the playoff conversation and makes the northern division wildcard race very tight.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.