The Tourists struggled through the middle innings on a night where the pitching was lacking and the defense looked lethargic, falling 12-7 in their series opener with the Columbus Catfish.
With a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, Sheng-An Kuo - making his first relief appearance of the season - was tagged for six runs in the fourth inning. Ten Catfish came to the plate in the inning, keyed by three Kuo (9-7) walks and a grand slam off the bat of Maiko Loyola, which ended with the Catfish in control with a 7-4 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Asheville got on the board early with an RBI single by Darin Holcomb to tie the game at one. The Tourists added three more in the second on a Warren Schaffer sacrifice fly and a two-run home run from Brian Lapin - his second in as many nights - to give Asheville a 4-1 lead.
After Columbus took the lead in the fourth, the Tourists cut the lead to two runs on Lapin's RBI double to score Schaeffer, part of Lapin's 3 RBI night, to make it a 7-5 game. That would be as close as Asheville would get as Columbus scored three more in the fifth to stretch the lead to five runs with the key hit coming on Greg Sexton's single to drive in two.
Offensive highlights for Asheville came late in the game when Bo Bowman drilled his first home run as an Asheville Tourist and Kevin Clark added a ninth inning home run.
Another bright spot was the outing of Shane Lindsay, coming off the disabled list after breaking his hand in an off-field incident in Modesto. Lindsay was on a strict pitch count and as a result only lasted 2.2 innings and gave up just one run on Omar Luna's RBI triple in the first. The Aussie gave up two hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts.
Jose Mejias (2-1) picked up the win for the Catfish, in relief of starter Joshua Johnson. Mejias tossed a pair of scoreless innings, allowing three hits with three strikeouts.
The Tourists will look to rebound tomorrow with Bruce Billings (8-8, 3.73). He'll face Jeremy Hall (6-3, 4.58) on another Kids Club Sunday. It'll also be Cherokee Day at the ballpark, with the Cherokee tribe being featured at the ballpark. Kids can run the bases after the game and the Tourists will serve a 100-foot sundae for the kids after the ballgame. First pitch is at 2:05 p.m. and the game can be heard on the Tourists flagship station WRES-FM, 100.7.
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 2008 playoff 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.