The Columbus Catfish' first visit to Asheville got off to a rousing start tonight. The Catfish slammed the Tourists (Rockies) 8-3 tonight, behind a 17-hit attack.
Every Catfish starter but one had at least one hit, with six having multi-hit games. C Nevin Ashley led the way with 4 hits, including an RBI double, upping his batting average 66 points to .389. CF Desmond Jennings had 3 hits, including a double, and scored twice.
The Catfish opened the game with four straight hits to take the early lead. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Jennings, RF John Matulia, and 3B Brett Grandstrand loaded the bases for Ashley, who doubled to right, scording Jennings and Matulia scores. With one out, DH Maiko Loyola singled to right field, knocking in Grandstrand. Loyola stole second, his 3 SB of the season, and Ashley scored. on a throwing error by the Asheville catcher. Following a single by 1B Matt Fields, Loyola scored on 2B Joey Callender's ground out. When the smoke cleared, the Catfish were up 5-0.
In the 2nd inning, a walk, passed ball, single and sacrifice fly put one run up for Asheville, making it 5-1.
The Catfish got 2 runs in the 4th on Brett Grandstrand's 2-out double that scored SS Jairo De La Rosa scores and Jennings, both who had singled.
Columbus almost got another run in the 5th, but Royster, who had reached on a single, was thrown out at home trying to score on Loyola's double to center field.
Asheville closed the gap to 7-3 on a 2-run homer by C Michael McKenry, who got his first round-tripper of the season off Catfish reliever Brian Baker.
The 7th inning saw the Catfish score their final run. With 2 out and runners on second and third, Fields singled to right, scoring Grandstrand, who had walked to start the inning. Ashley, who had singled, was thrown out at home trying to score.
Baker kept Asheville at bay in the 7th inning, and gave way to Ryan Reid in the 8th. Reid struck out the side in the 8th, but allowed a runner in the 9th. However, with 2 outs and Asheville CF Bret Berglund on first, Catfish backup C Craig Albernaz picked Berglund off first to end the game.
Catfish starter Joshua Butler went 5 innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 unearned run. He walked 2 and struck out 5 in picking up his first win of the year.
The win moves the Catfish back above .500, with a 5-4 record, in 4th place, a game out of 2nd. The series with Asheville continues through Monday.