Though the Augusta GreenJackets might have entered Tuesday night’s game as the hottest team in the South Atlantic League, the Asheville Tourists showed why they’re still one of the best.
Starter Ben Alsup took his best outing of the season into the ninth and the Tourists bats supplied more than enough run support in an 8-1 win that snapped Augusta’s three-game winning streak.
“That’s the way we played in the first half,” said Tourists manager Joe Mikulik, who led his team to a first-half Southern Division championship. “But we hadn’t been playing like that lately. This was good to see.”
Asheville (2-4) jumped ahead early with a four-run third inning on five hits. The runs were unearned for GreenJackets starter Paul Davis after third baseman Garrett Buechele mishandled a potential double-play ball early in the inning.
Davis (3-3) gave up six runs on 10 hits over six innings, walked none and struck out six but left trailing 6-1.
Reliever DeMondre Arnold gave up two runs over the final three innings.
The lone Augusta run came courtesy of Shawn Payne, who hit his third home run in the fourth. The rest of the GreenJackets were limited to only two hits.
“We were flat offensively,” Augusta manager Lipso Nava said. “We weren’t aggressive enough, and we’re playing one of the best teams in the league so we’re going to have to come out tomorrow and be more aggressive at the plate.”
Alsup (8-3) came within two outs of being the 17th pitcher in the league to throw a complete game this season. The 23-year-old Louisiana State University product was pulled with one out in the ninth after his 105th pitch got Kelby Tomlinson to ground out.
“I wanted to finish real bad, but I knew where I was with the pitch count,” Alsup said. “It was a good night. I was able to locate a lot of my pitches tonight. My changeup wasn’t there, so I went to my slider more.”
Alsup, the Colorado Rockies’ 18th-round pick in 2011, allowed one run on two hits, struck out seven and walked one for his fourth win in his past seven starts.
Asheville’s lineup, battered and thin because of injuries and call-ups, had 13 hits. Second baseman Jose Rivera went 4 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI, while catcher Will Swanner added two hits and two RBI.