Howard and Tourists make playoffs, DeBruin's all-star season comes to close

Sam Howard and the Asheville Tourists begin the South Atlantic League playoffs Wednesday night at home against the Savannh Sand Gnats. Howard, who starred at Georgia Southern University and Cartersville High School, has been the Tourists’ hottest pitcher down the stretch going 7-1 over his last ten starts.

The left handed pitcher is on a season-long innings count with the Colorado Rockies affiliate, but has enough innings remaining to get the nod in at least one more start in the playoffs.

In 134 innings this season, Howard has 122 strikeouts and a 3.43 ERA. He is 11-9 overall on the season in 25 starts. Opponents are hitting .252 against him.

Asheville earned a wild card spot in the South Atlantic League’s Southern division by finishing just ahead of Greenville. The playoff berth was clinched Monday — the final day of the regular season. Games two of the best-of-three series between the Tourists and Sand Gnats will be in Savannah Friday night. Game three (if needed) will be Saturday night in Savannah.

Former Adairsville High and University of Alabama-Huntsville standout, Grant DeBruin, wrapped up his 2015 minor league season with the Potomac Nationals Labor Day. DeBruin was a mid-season all-star in the Carolina League. The third baseman finished the season with a .299 batting average. He hit four homeruns, five triples, 27 doubles, and drove in 64 runs in 458 at bats over 59 games.

Potomac, a Washington Nationals affiliate, finished second in the Northern Division during the second half of the Carolina League with a 32-37 record.

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