Christian Morris 1-Hits Tourists; Charleston RiverDogs Win 4-2
Right-hander Christian Morris was dominant in his first five appearances, but struggled in his last two. No such troubles Thursday night. The RiverDogs starter pitched six outstanding innings, allowing just one-hit to lead Charleston to a 4-2 victory over the Asheville Tourists.
Both Morris and Tourists starter Jack Wynkoop were outstanding in the first two innings. Neither team was able to put up a run, but in the bottom of the third the RiverDogs were able to take the lead.
Leonardo Molina drilled a line drive into left field that he legged out into a double. A fly ball moved him to third, and Gosuke Katoh doubled to right field to score Molina to give Charleston the early lead.
In the bottom of the fourth they would extend that lead. Chris Gittens legged out a ground ball for a single, but was forced out on a ground out by Austin Afenir. That was the second out of the inning, but the RiverDogs got a huge two-out rally going. Angel Aguilar singled to left field, and Molina followed with a line drive to right field scoring both runners. Molina raced into third with his first triple of the season and he would score when Alexander Palma legged out a single on a ground ball to make it 4-0.
Four runs were plenty for Morris on this night. He would allow lone walks in the first and second innings, then allow his first and only hit with two outs in the third. Then the right-hander caught fire. He retired all ten of the next batters he faced, striking out four during that stretch, including all three in the sixth.
Morris (4-1) would be done after six. He allowed 2-walks to go with the 1-hit. He also struck out 7.
Nestor Cortes took over in the seventh and retired the first six batters he faced. That included the final four on strikeouts. He was cruising, but in the ninth the Asheville Tourists would finally get on the board. Terry McClure walked to get it started and moved to second when Mylz Jones beat out a bunt for a single. A throwing error on the play moved both runners into scoring position, and the game suddenly got a lot more interesting. A sacrifice fly scored McClure and Jones scored on a ground out. It was 4-2 now, but that is all that the Tourists could muster.
Nestor earned his first save of the season, going 3-innings. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out 4. Only one of the runs scored against him was earned.
Molina was 2-4 with 2-runs scored and 2-RBI. Katoh was 2-3, had 2-doubles and drove in a run. Jones had 2-hits and scored a run for the Tourists.
These two teams will face off again on Friday. The Asheville Tourists (30-29) send Peter Lambert (2-3, 2.29). The Charleston RiverDogs (35-23) counter with Domingo Acevedo (2-1, 2.19). First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier