ASHEVILLE- The Asheville Tourists defeated the Rome Braves 11-6 on Monday night to take sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic League's Southern division. The win runs Asheville's second half home record to 17-8; the best in the entire league.
Asheville plated a trio of runs in the bottom of the second inning that included an RBI single by Cristopher Navarro, who was appearing in his first game of the season. Rome rallied to tie the score but the Tourists answered with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Coco Montes drove in Will Golsan from third base with a single into shallow right. Kyle Datres raced to third base on the hit and then scampered home when the Braves weren't paying attention.
Navarro hit a sacrifice fly in the following frame to give Asheville a 6-3 advantage. Willie MacIver then pulled off an incredible straight steal of home plate to make the score 7-3. Willie was safe by a mile.
The Braves made it a 7-5 contest before Asheville put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Montes plated a run with an RBI double and Grant Lavigne bombed a three-run Home Run. Lavigne reached base four times in the victory.
The pitching was a bit of an adventure; however, Asheville's arms dialed in when they needed to. Jake Bird started and allowed only one earned run over four innings. Alexander Martinez chewed up a pair of innings out of the bullpen and Jacob Bosiokovic finished it off with a perfect ninth.
Rome committed four errors in the loss and left 12 runners on base. The Tourists finished with 11 hits for the second straight game; both victories. Asheville will take on Rome on Tuesday night for game two of the scheduled three-game series.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.