GREENEVILLE, TN- The Greeneville Astros have released the dates for their 2013 schedule, which will mark their 10th season in the Appalachian League. The slate features 34 home games at Pioneer Park in addition to 34 games on the road throughout the Appalachian League beginning in mid-June and continuing through the end of August.
The Astros, who finished last season in third place in the West Division with a record of 36-32, will open the season with a three-game road series against the East Division Bluefield Blue Jays. It all begins on Thursday, June 20th, two weeks after the start of the First-Year Player Draft.
After the short road trip to start the year, the Astros will begin a six-game home series at Pioneer Park against a pair of West Division rivals. Sunday, June 23rd will mark the Astros' home opening fireworks show and the first of a three-game series against the defending Appalachian League Champion Elizabethton Twins, a team that the Astros fared well against last season with a 5-4 mark despite their league-best 43-22 overall record.
The second half of the opening homestand will bring the Kingsport Mets to town, a team that finished fourth in the division at 23-43 in 2012. Their series with the Mets will end with a Friday Night Fireworks show on June 28th.
Following their first homestand, the Astros will hit the road again for a tough test against the defending East Division champion Burlington Royals, the league's runner-up from last season. That three-game set will carry the Appalachian League season into July and immediately be followed by a league-wide off day on Tuesday, July 2nd.
A single game at Kingsport on July 3rd will precede the Astros' next home series which begins with their annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration against a Bristol White Sox squad that finished on the bottom of the West Division last season at 19-46. Then, the Astros will return to Kingsport over the next three days, which means seven of the club's first 19 games will be against the Mets.
The Astros' third overnight road trip of the season will be to face the Princeton Rays, who finished last season with an identical record to Greeneville at 36-32. Then the Astros will return to Pioneer Park for their second home series against Elizabethton, who will be in search of their ninth consecutive playoff appearance. That will lead them into mid-July and their second off day on July 16th, which will also be the day of the 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game hosted by the New York Mets.
The day after the MLB All-Star Game, Princeton will travel to Greeneville. On July 19th, the Astros will conclude the three-game set and their sixth game in nine days against the Rays with a Friday Night Fireworks show.
Over the next six days, the Astros will travel to Johnson City for three games before returning home to host those same Cardinals for three games at Pioneer Park in Greeneville. Last season, the Cardinals finished just ahead of the Astros with a 39-28 record and claimed the West Division wildcard playoff spot. Therefore, this could be an important stretch for both clubs.
Those three home games against Johnson City also start the Astros' longest homestand of the season, nine games, and take them all the way to the end of July. The Astros' first game of a three-game series against the Pulaski Mariners will mark another Friday Night Fireworks game. Then, the Astros will host the Burlington Royals for the final three games of the homestand through July 31st.
In the final month of the season, the Astros will be on the road for 18 of their final 28 games. Furthermore, August starts a stretch with only four home games for the Astros over the first 24 days of the month.
August begins with six games in eight days at Bristol. The first three games in Bristol are followed by a single home game on Sunday, August 4th against Kingsport. Then, after the third of four league-wide off days on August 5th, the Astros will return to Bristol for three more contests.
From August 9th-11th, the Astros will host Kingsport for the final time during the season with a weekend series that will include a Friday Night Fireworks display. The final game of the series will mark the last home game for the Astros for two full weeks until their final homestand at the end of August.
Over their two week stretch away from home, the Astros will visit Johnson City, Pulaski and Elizabethton before their final off day on August 21st. Then they will make their final and longest road trip of the season to play the Danville Braves, the East Division wildcard team from a year ago and a playoff team in seven of the last nine seasons.
As the Astros begin to come down the stretch in search of one of two playoff spots in the West Division, they will have an opportunity to play in front of the home crowd at Pioneer Park for the final six nights of the season. The Astros will host the Bluefield Blue Jays for three games and then conclude the season with a three-game series against Danville, who they just played for the first time a few days before. The last game with the Braves will conclude with a Season Finale Fireworks display on Friday, August 30th.
The two teams with the best win-loss percentage in both the East and West Divisions, at the conclusion of the 68-game regular season, will qualify for the playoffs beginning on August 31st.
In the first round of the playoffs, each division leader will face the second place finisher of the opposite division in a best-of-three series. Game one will be at the home of the second place finisher and will conclude with game two and game three, if necessary, at the home of the division winner. The winner of the series will earn the right to play in the Appalachian League Championship Series.
Following the completion of the first round, the two winning teams will square off in a best-of-three playoff that will begin at the home of the westernmost club. The Championship Series will conclude with game two and game three, if necessary, at the home of the easternmost club.
Greeneville Astros home games, unless otherwise noted, will start at 7:00pm Monday-Friday, while Saturday and Sunday games will begin at 6:00pm.
A full promotional schedule of fan favorites as well as brand new promotions will be released at a future date with a list of all the special events that will take place throughout the 2013 10th anniversary season.
The Greeneville Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Renewals and new purchases on season tickets and half-season tickets are now available at the Astros Administrative office located at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College. The office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm. For more information on the Astros, call (423) 638-0411 or visit www.greenevilleastros.com.
2013 GREENEVILLE ASTROS SCHEDULE
June 20-22 @ Bluefield Blue Jays
June 23-25 ELIZABETHTON TWINS
June 26-28 KINGSPORT METS
June 29-July 1 @ Burlington Royals
July 2 OFF
July 3 @ Kingsport Mets
July 4-6 BRISTOL WHITE SOX
July 7-9 @ Kingsport Mets
July 10-12 @ Princeton Rays
July 13-15 ELIZABETHTON TWINS
July 16 OFF
July 17-19 PRINCETON RAYS
July 20-22 @ Johnson City Cardinals
July 23-25 JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
July 26-28 PULASKI MARINERS
July 29-31 BURLINGTON ROYALS
August 1-3 @ Bristol White Sox
August 4 KINGSPORT METS
August 5 OFF
August 6-8 @ Bristol White Sox
August 9-11 KINGSPORT METS
August 12-14 @ Johnson City Cardinals
August 15-17 @ Pulaski Mariners
August 18-20 @ Elizabethton Twins
August 21 OFF
August 22-24 @ Danville Braves
August 25-27 BLUEFIELD BLUE JAYS
August 28-30 DANVILLE BRAVES