Howard's win in relief propels Asheville to SAL Championship Series

Former Cartersville High School and Georgia Southern University pitcher, Sam Howard, and the Asheville Tourists have advanced to the South Atlantic League championship series.

Unfortunately, the Tourists find themselves down 2-0 in the series after opening losses in Hickory.

The Crawdads won 7-2 in Game 1 and beat Asheville Tuesday night 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

The series now moves to Asheville Thursday for Game 3 at McCormick Field.

If needed, Game 4 (Friday night) and Game 5 (Saturday night) would also be in Asheville.

The Tourists have named rehabbing Rockies' pitcher Tyler Chatwood their Game 3 starter, but it was Chatwood who did not get through the first inning of his first playoff start. Relievers, including Howard's six inning stint, completed that series-deciding Game 3 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats.

Howard pitched six innings of scoreless relief and Luis Jean homered to advance the Tourists to their second straight SAL Championships Series with a 2-1 win in Savannah last Saturday.

Howard (12-9) was credited with the pitching win and will likely get the nod for one more stint during the SAL Championship Series. He is 8-1 over his past ten appearances with a 2.12 ERA. The 22-year-old left-hander has been on an innings count during the season. He has now worked 140 innings in 26 games in 2015.

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