Stowers Smacks Two Homers as Charleston's Slide Continues in Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - After an uncharacteristic pitchers' duel the night before, the Charleston RiverDogs went down early and couldn't claw back in a slugfest typical for the Tourists' historic venue. RiverDogs right fielder Josh Stowers collected his first multi-home run game of his career as Asheville staved off a late Charleston rally to win 10-8 on Wednesday night at McCormick Field.
After homering in a ninth inning comeback effort that felt short on Tuesday, Stowers added two more to run his season total up to four a night later. The former Louisville Cardinal tripled to left-center in the first before tagging a 1-0 offering over the short porch in right to give the RiverDogs (24-22) a brief 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth. It all came as part of a three-hit effort for the former second-round pick acquired by the Yankees in a trade this past December.
The Tourists (18-27) used the longball to take control of the lead for good in the bottom half of the fourth. After catcher Javier Guevara singled with one out, shortstop Terrin Vavra tied the contest at four apiece with a double that split the gap in left. After Will Golsan walked, designated hitter Willie MacIver wacked a 1-2 pitch to a similar spot where Stowers had gone yard just a half inning prior, a three-run blast to make it 7-4 Asheville on the University of Washington product's eighth of the season.
The wall-scraping blast punctuated a tough night for the RiverDogs' proverbial ace, Luis Gil (2-3). The 20-year-old threw 87 pitches to struggle through four innings and finished allowing a career-high seven runs (six earned) on just five hits, including his first home run allowed on the season. The Dominican Republic native fought with command throughout the evening, issuing a season-high four walks while hitting two batters. Gil's ERA rose from 0.82 to 2.19 after his eighth start of the season.
After Asheville added insurance with run in the sixth, the Dogs went to work chipping away with tallies of their own in the seventh and eighth, including Stowers' second of the night in the former. The Tourists quickly erased them both with a two-run eighth inning. Johnny Cresto's double into left-center finished off a 3-for-3, 4 RBI night for the Tourists third baseman, stretching Asheville's lead to 10-6 after eight.
The RiverDogs came on the doorstep of forcing a bottom of the ninth inning for a second straight game but came up short. Five straight men reached to open the inning, including an error that allowed Stowers to reach for a fourth time, scoring Lockridge, and an RBI single from Frederick Cuevas. That would be as close as Charleston would come as manager Robinson Cancel yanked reliever Raymells Rosa for Jake Bird, who finished the game off for his first save of the season. The right-hander induced a game-ending double play off the bat of Eduardo Navas.
The loss marks Charleston's fifth defeat in their last six games and eight of their last 13 overall. Despite this, the RiverDogs retain a first-place position in the Southern Division standings, a spot they have held sole possession of since May 3.
Charleston continues their four-day stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Thursday night's game three. The RiverDogs will send right-hander Alexander Vizcaino (2-2, 3.20) to the mound, just one day removed from his 22nd birthday, to face Tourists southpaw Nick Bush (3-3, 5.26). Charleston's hard-throwing starter has given manager Julio Mosquera 7.0 innings each of his last two times out, including striking out a career-best 10 in a no-decision on Friday night against Augusta at The Joe.
Fans can catch the game on WTMA 1250 AM in the tri-county area and online streaming on the TuneIn Radio app. Fans can "Make Fun" with the RiverDogs all season long down at The Joe. Single-game tickets, including options to the Riley Park Club, are available at riverdogs.com/tickets or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS). A full schedule and list of game times for the 2019 season is available at riverdogs.com.
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South Atlantic League Stories from May 22, 2019
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