ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 27, 2023) — Brooklyn’s bid for a season-high-tying fifth-straight win would not come to fruition. Asheville sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first — tallying seven runs on six hits — as the Tourists topped the Cyclones, 8-1, on Sunday afternoon at McCormick Field.
Despite the loss, Brooklyn's (32-22, 60-59) lead in the South Atlantic League North Division remains at two games with 12 contests left in the regular season. Both Jersey Shore (30-24, 65-54) and Greensboro (27-26, 63-54) dropped their series finales on Sunday.
Asheville’s (21-33, 47-68) first six hitters reached base in their first-inning explosion. CF Zach Cole and DH Jacob Melton ripped back-to-back singles to start the inning before C Miguel Palma walked to load the bases. 1B Ryan Wrobleski followed with a two-run single to open the scoring.
After RF Tyler Whitaker was plunked with a pitch, 3B Austin Deming tapped a ground ball up the middle. The ball snuck past the second baseman and into center field. Two runs scored on the error to double Asheville’s lead to four.
Following a flyout, LF John García carried a sacrifice fly to center field to stretch the Tourists’ advantage to 5-0. After a pitching change, SS Rolando Espinosa smacked an RBI double off the center field fence and Cole collected his second hit of the frame to chase in a run and cap the seven-run inning.
An inning later, Asheville tacked on their final run of the day. Whitaker launched a solo home run over the tall fence in right field with one out and the bases empty. The 2021 third-round pick’s third home run of the week gave the Tourists an 8-0 cushion.
Brooklyn broke up the shutout in the top of the eighth. With nobody on and two out, 3B Chase Estep cracked a solo home run down the right-field line. The Corbin, Ky. native’s third blast of the season pulled the ‘Clones to within 8-1.
Asheville’s RHP Nic Swanson (1-2) tossed five innings of one-hit shutout ball, striking out five, to earn his first win at the High-A level. RHP Alex Santos II yielded the only run for the Tourists but hurled the final four frames for his second save.
RHP Robert Colina (3-5) was chased with two outs in the first, permitting six runs (four earned) on three hits, and was saddled with his third-straight defeat for Brooklyn.
Following Monday’s league-wide off day, the Cyclones travel further south and continue their two-week road trip with a six-game series against the Greenville Drive, the High-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Neither side has announced a probable starting pitcher for the set's opening game. The first pitch on Tuesday evening is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.