CHARLESTON--The Asheville Tourists jumped out to their first lead in the last five games on Thursday night; however, it did not hold up as the Charleston RiverDogs scored twice in the ninth inning to walk off by a final score of 4-3. The Tourists have lost five in a row.
Asheville plated a run in the top of the first inning when Vince Fernandez singled home Jose Gomez for a 1-0 lead. Gomez made it 2-0 with a leadoff Home Run in the third. The Tourists added another in the fifth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Colton Welker. After that, things began to fall apart.
Charleston netted an unearned run in the sixth inning, scored on a two-out RBI single in the seventh and kept the Tourists from adding to their lead the rest of the way. The latter of those three was the most important.
Asheville had numerous opportunities to build on their lead against the RiverDogs bullpen. Base-running mistakes and failing to put the bat on the ball in run scoring situations gave the home team momentum late.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, Asheville led 3-2. Kenny Oakley struck out the first batter but the second reached on a Gomez fielding error--another costly mistake. Isiah Gilliam drew a highly contested walk after Oakley appeared to have recorded strike three on multiple pitches.
Finally, Carlos Vidal hit a line drive into centerfield that froze Manny Melendez. By the time Melendez realized he had to retreat the ball went over his head to score both runners. It was Charleston's third walk off win of the season.
Alejandro Requena, Asheville's starting pitcher who was on the hook for a win, lowered his ERA on the season to 0.49. Through three starts this year, Requena does not have a win--despite allowing a total of only one earned run.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.