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Charleston RiverDogs pitcher Rony Garcia before a game against the Lakewood BlueClaws in Lakewood, NJ on July 17, 2017 (Martin Griff)

Dogs Drop Series Opener to Asheville 3-1

The Asheville Tourists edged the Charleston RiverDogs 3-1 Tuesday night at Joe Riley Park in another pitching battle.

The Tourists scored their first run with a two-out rally in the first. RiverDogs starter Rony Garcia walked Casey Golden after retiring the first two batters of the game. Sean Bouchard then ripped a line drive that was beyond the reach of a diving Steven Sensley in right field for a double to score Golden and give Asheville a 1-0 lead.

Asheville would tack on another run in the third off of Garcia. After Hidekel Gonzalez grounded out to short, Shael Mendoza hit a double down the right field line. Bret Boswell then lined a single to right field that Sensley bobbled allowing Gonzalez to score for the second Tourists run.

Garcia (L, 0-2) would pitch six and one-third innings while allowing two runs, both earned along with seven hits while striking out six.

The RiverDogs struggled offensively all night starting with Asheville starter Lucas Gilbreath (W, 2-0). Dalton Blaser would break through against reliever Justin Valdenspina with a home run to right field with two outs in the seventh. That would be the extent of the RiverDogs offense. Gilbreath would pitch five innings allowing five hits while striking out three.

Asheville would score their final run in the eighth on a stolen base attempt when Marcelino took off for second with two outs and Golden broke for the plate. Shortstop Wilkerman Garcia threw home but catcher Eduardo Navas could not handle the throw and dropped the ball on the tag to extend the Tourists lead to 3-1.

Tommy Doyle would close things out in the ninth to earn his second save of the season for Asheville.

Charleston falls to 11-14 on the season while Asheville moves to 8-15 with the win. The Dogs and Tourists resume their three game set Wednesday at Joe Riley Park with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM.

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