A capacity crowd at McCormick Field greeted the Asheville Tourists Thursday night for the home opener.
But even the support of a standing-room only throng of 4,269 could not prevent the Tourists from the continuing slide to the start of the 2018 season.
A total of 11 walks from Asheville pitching helped Columbia take a 7-5 extra-inning win, dropping the Tourists to 1-7.
The Fireflies won the game with two runs in the 10th after Asheville rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to tie the game at 5-5 in the sixth.
The Tourists managed just four hits, but the big blow was three-run home run from outfielder Ramon Marcelino.
Asheville used six pitchers and each allowed at least one walk, including five free passes from starter Erick Julio in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Edgardo Fermin led the Columbia offense with two hits and four RBIs.
The sellout crowd helped the Asheville Tourists/Eblen Charities Children’s Fund set a record.
The non-profit that raises money to buy shoes for Buncombe County children by selling wristbands had the best night in their 20-year history, raising $2,075 on Thirsty Thursday.
Asheville’s seven-game homestand continues Friday with a 7:05 p.m. start vs. Columbia, with a postgame fireworks show.
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