Sunday, August 19, 2007

Catfish blast Asheville

After getting shut down Friday night by the Asheville Tourists (Rockies), the Columbus Catfish bounced back ... and bounced Asheville, 16-7 Saturday night. The Catfish attack was led by Matt Fields, who homered twice.
Fields blasted a three-run shot in the second inning, then launched a two-run homer, his 17th, in the seventh. It was his second career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 16, 2006 at Tri-City, when he was with short season Hudson Valley.

Ryan Royster, who went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, cranked a two-run homer, his South Atlantic League-leading 26th, in the seventh for the Catfish (34-20), who moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Tourists (33-22) in the Southern Division. The 21-year-old left fielder has 11 homers in his last 17 games, including a six-game streak from Aug. 5-11

Cesar Suarez went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs for Columbus, which set season highs with six homers and 16 runs. He slugged a two-run homer, his 11th, in the eighth. Matthew Spring added a three-run blast and Nevin Ashley belted a two-run shot.

Catfish starter Heath Rollins (15-4) became the Minor Leagues' first 15-game winner. He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out seven over six innings to win his fifth straight start.

The Catfish hold a 1-1/2 game lead over Asheville, and conclude the series with Asheville Sunday night, before heading on the road for three games against 3rd place Charleston.

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