ASHEVILLE, NC -The Tourists put one in the win column Wednesday night with a 4-1 victory over the Hagerstown Suns. Asheville used four pitchers to hold the dangerous Suns to only one run on seven hits.
In the first inning, Kyle Parker singled to center with Rafael Ortega at second base. Ortega went flying around third towards the plate as Suns center-fielder Bryce Harper came up with the ball. Harper’s throw was perfect, but Ortega’s speed combined with an excellent head first slide gave Asheville an early 1-0 lead.
The Tourists made it 2-0 in the second when Chandler Laurent doubled to begin the inning and advanced to third on a fielding error by Michael Taylor. Joey Wong hit a fly ball to Harper in center and Laurent tagged up on the play and came in to score.
The Suns loaded the bases with no outs in both the first and third innings against Tourists starter Josh Slaats (1-1, 8.39). However, Slaats buckled down in both innings and limited Hagerstown to nothing in the first and just one run in the third.
Asheville put men at the corners in the fourth and Wong slapped a single into left that scored Laurent. Leading 3-1, Tourists catcher Bryce Massanari led off the fifth inning with a monstrous Home Run over the center-field wall. The bomb was Massanari’s 12th of the season and was one of the longest balls hit a Municipal Stadium all year.
Slaats left the game after five innings and turned things over to the bullpen. Asheville’s relievers were up to the challenge and held Hagerstown scoreless the rest of the way. Brad McAtee worked two innings before turning it over to Bruce Kern in the eighth. Kern induced an inning ending double play and gave Juan Perez the ball for the ninth. Perez worked a perfect inning and earned his ninth save of the year.
Offensively for Asheville, Wong finished 3-for-3 with 2 RBI’s and Russell Wilson contributed with a two-hit game. The Tourists and Suns play game two Thursday night beginning at 6:35pm.