The Asheville Tourists won the first game of their playoff series against the Savannah Sand Gnats on Wednesday night at McCormick Field in western North Carolina.
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Jesus Tinoco allowed just one run while pitching into the eighth inning, and the Asheville Tourists won the first game of their South Atlantic League best-of-three playoff series 5-1 over the Savannah Sand Gnats on Wednesday night at McCormick Field in Asheville.
Tinoco was brilliant from the start, and the Sand Gnats never really figured him out, only getting a sixth inning run off the Tourists’ starter. While he hit 94 mph on the radar gun, Tinoco wasn’t overly dominant on the mound, but rather relied on his stuff to make quick work of the Sand Gnats.
In 7.2 innings of work, Tinoco allowed seven hits and just the one earned run. He didn’t walk anybody and struck out six Savannah batters, making work of the Sand Gnats on 98 pitches (70 strikes).
The Tourists would do Tinoco a favor in the bottom of the fourth inning, thanks to home runs by both Forrest Wall and Roberto Ramos (who hit a two-run shot) to make the game 3-0 in favor of the home club.
The Sand Gnats scored their lone run in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 3-1, but the game would never get closer and the Tourists would quickly stretch out their lead a bit for insurance.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Tourists got two more runs, thanks to Ramos’ RBI single, and an RBI fielder’s choice from Omar Carrizales. The 5-1 lead was more than enough for Tinoco and reliever Jerry Vasto to cruise through the eighth inning, bringing Savannah up for their final three at-bats in the top of the ninth.
Vasto made very quick work of the Sand Gnats in the ninth inning to seal the game for the host Tourists. The Tourists and Sand Gnats will meet again on Friday night at 7:05 pm ET (5:05 pm MT) in Savannah for the second game of their best-of-three playoff series.