After the Hickory Crawdads won the first two games of the series, the Asheville Tourists responded with consecutive victories in Sunday's doubleheader -- 8-3 in Game 1 and 3-2 in Game 2 -- before 1,313 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium. Both games went the regulation seven innings for a doubleheader.
Asheville (2-2) found its offensive rhythm against RHP Matt Thompson (L, 0-1) and the Crawdads in the first game. The Tourists struck first with a pair of runs in the third and then scored two runs in each of the next three innings to plate eight in total. The Crawdads (2-2) managed a pair of offensive highlights against Asheville starter RHP Ricardo Ferrer in the first game -- a solo home run by 1B Jhonny Gomez in the third and a solo shot by C Tomas Telis in the fourth. After RHP Craig Bennigson (W, 1-0) tossed two scoreless innings for the Tourists, the Crawdads had one last attempt in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with no one out. One run came in on a fielder's choice by LF Teodoro Martinez, but then RHP Rafael Suarez induced a game-ending double play to close the 8-3 win for Asheville.
The Crawdads came out swinging in the second contest, taking a first inning lead for the third time in their first four games. With two on and one away, 1B Andrew Clark belted an RBI double to straightaway center field, plating 2B Odubel Herrera from second and moving DH Josh Richmond to third. Richmond then charged home on a sacrifice fly hit by 3B Christian Villanueva, making it 2-0 through one. Hickory starter RHP Justin Grimm kept the Tourists bats contained, allowing just one hit and striking out seven through his first five innings. However, C Dustin Garneau cracked a solo homer to start the sixth inning, followed by a three-base missed catch miscue by Martinez in center, enabling Tourists CF Rafael Ortega to get all the way to third base. Ortega then came home on a sacrifice fly by RF Kyle Parker off RHP Andrew Doyle (L, 0-1) to tie the game, 2-2. The Tourists then edged ahead in the top of the seventh. DH Helder Velazquez led off with a walk, was sacrificed over to second and took third on a passed ball. 2B Russell Wilson then brought Velazquez in to put Asheville ahead, 3-2, before RHP Juan Perez (W, 1-0) closed out the Tourists win with a scoreless seventh.
NOTES: The Crawdads host the Savannah Sand Gnats for the first game of a four-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium on Monday. It is 2-for-1 Senior NighT with bingo! Also, all kids in attendance eat for free with the purchase of a ticket! First Pitch is 7 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m.