Darin Holcomb hit two doubles as part of a three-for-four night, but it was his eighth inning single that broke open a 2-1 Tourists lead and propelled Asheville to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Catfish.
With the game tied up at one-all going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Helder Velasquez led off with a solo home run to left field to break the tie and give the Tourists their first lead since the fourth inning. Beau Seabury reached on an error and Everth Cabrera would follow with a single. Then with two outs, Holcomb delivered with his two-RBI single.
Holcomb scored the first run of the ballgame in the second inning on Brian Rike's RBI single. Columbus would answer in the fourth on Mike McCormick's RBI double. The game remained tied as pitching dominated the middle portion of the action.
Bruce Billings did not factor in the decision for Asheville, but still provided one of his best outings of the year. His seven inning, 105-pitch performance was highlighted by his five strikeouts and one earned run. Billings scattered six hits and only walked two. Craig Baker (2-1) tossed a scoreless fourth to pick up the win while Randall Taylor survived a run in the ninth on a Henry Wrigley sacrifice fly to pick up his 14th save in as many chances.
Kevin Boggan (0-2) picked up the loss in relief of starter Jesse Darcy, who struck out five hitters.
Sunday's Game two will feature Sheng-An Kuo (4-3, 3.55) getting the start for the Tourists while Woods Fines (0-1, 15.75) takes the ball for Columbus. The game is a night game and will feature the Memorial Day Fireworks Extravaganza, presented by Asheville Savings Bank. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game can be heard on the Tourists flagship station WRES-FM.
The Asheville Tourists are the Single-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Tickets are available by contacting the front office at (828)-258-0428 or on the website, www.theashevilletourists.com.
For more information about season tickets, mini-plans and all premium seating at McCormick Field, contact the Tourists front office at (828) 258-0428.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.