Beyond the Scoreboard: Tourists still alive in pennant race

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

With 23 games left in the South Atlantic League's regular-season schedule, the Asheville Tourists continue to battle for a playoff berth.

A 6-3 win on Thursday in Lexington, Ky. pulled the Tourists (23-22) to within two games of first place in the Southern Division's second-half pennant race.

Overall, it has not been a successful season for the Tourists, who finished 27-42 in the SAL's first half and have an overall record of 50-64.

But with no teams in the Southern Division so far being able to pull away in the second half, Asheville has a legitimate shot at a postseason spot.

Asheville trails co-leaders Lexington and Greenville, S.C., by two games.

The Tourists have no games remaining against either of the teams they are pursuing.

Of the 23 remaining games, 12 are on the road, including a four-game set in Greensboro that begins Friday night. Asheville has won eight of the 10 meetings vs. Greensboro this season.

Asheville returns home Wednesday to start a seven-game homestand, and will close the season Aug. 31-Sept. 3 with a four-fame set vs. Rome, Ga., at McCormick Field.

In Thursday's win, three hits from Ramon Marcellino helped stake the Tourists to an early 5-0 lead. He doubled in his first at-bat and hit a three-run homer to highlight a five-run third inning, whileTodd Czinge added a solo homer.

Lucas Gilbreath struck out seven in six innings to pick up the win.