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Tourists tie series with Kannapolis win

June 8, 2006 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Asheville Tourists News Release

Tourists are heading home, after getting back to winning ways with a 6-4 win in Kannapolis to tie the four game series.

The win puts Asheville back to .500, and leaves the Intimidators the unwelcome distinction of being the first team in baseball this season to lose 45 games. Despite that fact though, this was a thoroughly entertaining ball game, with the outcome in doubt right until the very end.

After the Tourists' problem yesterday with conceding early runs, this time the visitors jumped on the board early, in the first inning. Travis Becktel's first triple of the season brought home Chris Nelson, who had walked to first in the previous at bat. Cole Garner then brought home Becktel with an RBI single driven through the middle to give the Tourists a two run lead after one inning.

The home side evened thing up in the bottom of the second, courtesy of a lead off double by Adam Ricks, and then Javier Castillo's third home run of the season, a two-RBI shot over center field. Back came Asheville in the top of the third with Carte leading off with a double, and working his way around to score on a Becktel RBI ground out. That run was equalled by the Intimidators in their half of the third. Brandon Durden got the lead off man Paulo Orlando to swing at a wild pitch for strike three, but Orlando managed to reach first base before the ball, and eventually worked his way around to tie up the game.

Wild pitches were involved in the top of the fourth too. Michael Paulk hammered his seventh double of the campaign in to center field, and then came across the plate to score on two consecutive wild pitches by the "I's" starting pitcher Ryan Rote. This one run lead turned into a three run lead in the top of the fifth. Nelson and Becktel led off the inning with consecutive singles to place runners on the corners, and then Becktel stole second to load up second and third base with nobody out.But no outs quickly turned to two ourts, as Van Kooten flew out to center, and Nelson was called out at home plate after tagging up. Cole Garner then stepped up to drive in Becktel with an RBI single, Cuadrado moved Garner round with a single of his own, and then Michael Paulk put the ball into play, allowing Garner to score on a throwing error by the second baseman.

The three run lead was reduced to a two run lead by an Anderson Gomes lead off solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, and then the home team managed to load second and third with just one out, but Alan Johnson battled hard in two intense at bats, forcing a strike out and a ground out to first base to complete the victory.

Taking the win on the mound is Brandon Durden (4-1), who pitched six innings, allowed four runs off of seven hits, striking out five. The bullpen worked as efficiently as usual - Burok and Patton earned the hold, pitching collectively for two innings, allowing two hits, and Johnson pitched the thrilling ninth inning, allowing two hits, and striking out one.

Five Tourists batters had multi-hit games; Becktel, Van Kooten, Cuadrado, and Paulk all grabbed two hits each, and Cole Garner hit three for five.

The Tourists are travelling back home for a seven game home stand, beginning Friday with the visit of Greenville.

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