Tourists steal series opener from R’Dogs

Max White drove in the game-winning run with a two-out single to left in the top of the 13th inning to give the Asheville Tourists a 3-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs in South Atlantic League play Friday night at Riley Park in front of 3,663 fans.

The RiverDogs (33-23) drop to 11/2 games behind the Savannah Sand Gnats for first place in the Southern Division. The Tourists (33-26) remain in third place.

The game remained scoreless for the first three innings in what turned out to be an offensively slow night. RiverDogs starting pitcher Rafael De Paula pitched five innings and allowed one run on three hits. He also fanned eight to add to his league-leading strikeout total, now at 91 in 591/3 innings of work.

Asheville opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a solo homer by Rosell Herrera.

Charleston evened the score at 1 in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot by Peter O’Brien — his team-leading ninth home run.

The game remained tied until Reymond Nunez broke the standstill with a solo home run over the scoreboard in left in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the RiverDogs a late 2-1 lead. The home run was Nunez’s seventh of the season.

Ben Paullus entered in the ninth inning but failed to pick up his fourth save as the Tourists tied the game on Derek Jones’ RBI double down the right field line.

Alex Smith (2-3), who entered the game in the 10th inning, suffered the loss. Smith pitched three innings, allowed one run on two hits, and recorded three strikeouts.

The three-game series continues today at 6:05 p.m. LHP Evan Rutckyj (5-3, 5.07 ERA) will be on the mound for Charleston and will face off against RHP Ben Hughes (5-4, 5.88 ERA) for the Tourists. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive Beats by Charlie Headphones.