ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Reymond Nunez and Mark Payton each hit home runs and propelled the Charleston RiverDogs to a 6-5 victory against the Asheville Tourists on Monday night at McCormick Field in South Atlantic League action.
Trailing 1-0, Charleston (20-17 second half, 53-54 overall) homered in the third inning to surge in front, 2-1. Gosuke Katoh singled to open the inning before Nunez crushed a go-ahead home run to left field. Nunez's two-run blast was his fourth home run of the season.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tourists (28-10, 69-38)evened the score at 2 on a Dillon Thomas RBI double.
Payton put the RiverDogs back ahead with a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Katoh drew a one-out walk while Nunez reached on a field error. Payton followed with the second blast of his pro career, giving Charleston a 5-2 advantage.
With one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, Katoh sent a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Jackson Valera for a 6-2 lead.
A two-out Tourists rally in the bottom of the sixth resulted in just one run. Jose Briceno was hit by a pitch before Thomas doubled to send him to third base. Ashley Graeter drove in Briceno on a single to cut the difference to 6-3. Max White followed with a smash to first base, but it deflected to Katoh and led to a 3-4-3 inning- ending groundout.
White pushed the Tourists to a ninth-inning rally. Graeter led off with a single, improving to 4 for 4 in the game. White followed with a two-run blast to right field, his sixth home run of the year, to bring Asheville within 6-5. However, the next three batters were retired to seal Charleston's victory.
Rookie Davis (5-8) earned the win, allowing three runs in 52/3 innings. Angel Rincon fought through 22/3 innings of relief before Stefan Lopez finished it out for his second save.
The series concludes Tuesday with a 7:05 p.m. start. Charleston RHP Andy Beresford (1-0, 4.87 ERA) will pitch against Asheville RHP Konner Wade (7-7, 3.71).