ASHEVILLE- The Asheville Tourists and the Brooklyn Cyclones played perhaps the game of the year in the South Atlantic League on Thursday night. The two teams traded punches back and forth for nine innings, then needed a tenth frame to decide the winner. Both teams had chances to win the
ASHEVILLE- The Asheville Tourists and the Brooklyn Cyclones played perhaps the game of the year in the South Atlantic League on Thursday night. The two teams traded punches back and forth for nine innings, then needed a tenth frame to decide the winner. Both teams had chances to win the game and both teams had players make plays to extend it.
Tyler Whitaker gave the Tourists a 2-0 lead with a two-run Home Run in the first inning. After the Cyclones scored a run in the top the second, John Garcia worked a 15-pitch plate appearance before lining an RBI single into centerfield. Garcia’s hit put the Tourists in front 3-1 after two.
Ryan Clifford hit a two-run Home Run for Brooklyn to tie the game 3-3 in the third. Asheville received a solo Home Run from Ryan Wrobleski along with consecutive RBI hits from Michael Sandle, Kobe Kato, and Rolando Espinosa in the bottom half. The Tourists led 7-3 after three.
Brooklyn plated three runs in the fourth and took the lead 8-7 on a two-run Home Run in the seventh. Jacob Melton put Asheville back on top 9-8 with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth that came with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Tourists committed two errors and walked two batters in the top of the ninth but Asheville still had the Cyclones one strike away from defeat on multiple occasions. Finally, Brooklyn delivered a two-run single, their only hit of the inning, and took the lead back 10-9.
In the bottom of the ninth, Wrobleski was at second and Whitaker at first with two outs. Kato lined a single into right field and Wrobleski somehow avoided the tag at home plate to score the tying run. In the shuffle, Whitaker crossed the plate as well but was forced to go back to second. The game went to extras tied 10-10.
The Cyclones scored three runs in the top of the tenth; the third and eventual winning run coming on a clever double steal. Garcia hit an RBI double in the bottom of the tenth and the Tourists pushed one more across but the home team fell one run short.
Asheville is now 30-2 this year when leading after eight innings and is 8-2 in games decided by one run at home.