Asheville's 6-run eighth squashes Hoppers

Jones, Rivera, Sullivan each collect 3 hits for Greensboro

By Josh Feldman / Greensboro Grasshoppers | May 9, 2018 11:37 PM

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (May 9, 2018) -- The Grasshoppers put together a pair of 4-run innings, but the Asheville Tourists used a 6-run eighth inning to pull away from Greensboro late, 14-10, on Wednesday night at McCormick Field. The Hoppers led 10-8 going into the Tourists' final at-bats, where Asheville sent 10 men to the plate and took advantage of three walks and two hit batters to aid their big inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Michael Mertz put three men on base with one out before being replaced by Dustin Beggs, who plunked Bret Boswell to bring in the first run of the frame for Asheville. Casey Golden followed with a 2-run single for an 11-10 lead for the Tourists before his teammates helped pile on. Golden finished with a game-high four hits, going 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. 

Chad Spanberger kept Asheville close with a multi-home run game, finishing 3-for-4 with two home runs, six RBI, and four runs scored. 

Greensboro (15-15) built an early 6-1 lead through three innings thanks to two runs in the second and four in the third. The Hoppers hit seven doubles at hitter-friendly McCormick Field, where the ballpark's 36-foot wall in right field allows batters to clang hits off the wall just 297-feet away. Zach Sullivan and Thomas Jones each hit two doubles as part of their 3-hit games while the Grasshoppers totaled 15 hits on the night, two more than the Tourists.  

Hoppers starting pitcher Taylor Braley took no decision, allowing four runs on seven hits over 5 and 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking one. Manny Rodriguez gave up four runs over 1 and 1/3 innings before turning the mound over to Mertz and Beggs, who eached worked two-thirds of an inning. Mertz (0-1) took the loss in his first outing with Greensboro this season after opening 2018 with Class A-Advanced Jupiter.

Tourists reliever Ben Bowden (2-0) earned the win as the pitcher of record after working a scoreless top of the eighth inning. He held down the fort after Asheville starter Garrett Schilling allowed six runs on 10 hits over 6.0 innings. Greensboro also plated four runs against Moises Ceja in the seventh inning.

The Grasshoppers and Tourists continue this series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. as part of this 7-game road trip. Greensboro returns to First National Bank Field on Thursday, May 17, to open an 8-game home stand, and tickets are available online at gsohoppers.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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