Abreu's Blast Walks Asheville off in the Bottom of the Ninth
ASHEVILLE - The Asheville Tourists and the Rome Braves began their six-game series with a wildly entertaining ballgame at McCormick Field on Tuesday night. With the game tied 10-10, Wilyer Abreu stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Abreu launched a two-run walk-off Home Run to give Asheville a 12-10 victory.
Prior to Abreu's theatrics, the contest was up and down the entire way. Rome led by as many as three runs early. Asheville built a five-run lead in the middle innings. The Braves battled back late. The Tourists won it at the end.
Asheville took a 1-0 lead on a C.J. Stubbs RBI single in the first inning. Rome plated the game's next three runs on a pair of long balls. Zach Daniels answered with a solo Home Run in the bottom of the fourth and the Tourists trailed 3-2 after four.
Rome scored twice in the top of the fifth thanks to a two-out, two-run single by Vaughn Grissom. The Tourists responded in the bottom of the inning thanks in part to a pair of Braves errors. Stubbs drove in JC Correa with another RBI single and Yainer Diaz hit a go-ahead Grand Slam with two outs in the frame.
Asheville added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, once again using two Braves errors to their advantage. Those three insurance runs became key when Rome rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Diaz worked a two-out walk to extend the inning and Abreu needed only one pitch to deliver the game-winner. Cesar Gomez starred out of the Tourists bullpen with 3.2 innings pitched and only two earned runs allowed. Both starting pitchers, Asheville's Kyle Gruller and Rome's William Woods, pitched three innings.
The Tourists snapped the Braves' five-game win streak with the victory and recorded their third walk-off win in the process. Asheville and Rome are back in action on Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35pm.
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