ASHEVILLE, NC -- The Tourists sent Tyler Chatwood to the mound to start the third game of the South Atlantic League Championship series on Thursday night against Hickory and saw their season end in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers affiliate. The major leaguer is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last July. Chatwood breezed through the first inning, but then walked two batters in the second and another in the next allowing two runs to score in that frame. Tyler finished the game giving up two earned runs on one hit and three walks while striking out two batters.
Jesus Tinoco came on in relief of Chatwood in the fourth inning and finished the game putting up a string of shutout innings, allowing just two runs on three hits with zero walks and five strikeouts. The young Venezuelan was acquired in the Troy Tulowitzki trade and demonstrated a strong two-seam fastball with a wipeout slider.
Tinoco looked impressive in his outing, inducing nine ground ball outs to just one flyout. He throws a fastball with lots of movement on it and the slider is major league caliber. The only criticism one could lay on Tinoco was his lack of an offspeed pitch, as everything came in hard and he threw the changeup sparingly.
The Tourists threatened throughout the game, putting up 12 hits against Hickory pitchers. They had bases loaded in the first inning with one out, but were unable to capitalize. Asheville outhit Hickory 12-to-5, but base running errors continued to plague the team as Dom Nunez was thrown out at home in the seventh inning.
Designated hitter Shane Hoelscher was the offensive star for the Tourists. The righty went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Hoelscher won the percentage triple crown for the SAL. With all the hits, Yonathan Daza was the lone Tourist with an extra base hit, as he finished with one double in four trips.
Hickory was led by pitcher Yohander Mendez who allowed just one earned run in 5.1 innings of work on nine hits and eight strike outs. Hickory's bullpen shut out Asheville for the remainder of the game, allowing just three hits in the final 3.2 innings.