Greeneville, TN - The Greeneville Astros (38-30), who clinched a spot in the Appalachian League Playoffs on Thursday, concluded their regular season schedule on Friday at Pioneer Park with a 2-0 loss to the Danville Braves (29-36). Despite the loss, the Astros finished with the second best record in club history and earned the right to host the Kingsport Mets in game one of the West Division Playoffs on Saturday at 7:00pm.
With their playoff spot secured, the Astros handed out their team awards prior to Friday night's game. First, on Fan Appreciation Night, the Astros took the time to recognize the Legacy Fine Jewelers Fan of the Year, Gary Laun. Then, the yearly team awards began with Angel Ibanez receiving the Oscar Padron Award for character and leadership. Next, outfielder Tanner Mathis, who led the team in hits (52), runs (30), stolen bases (7) and set an all-time club record with 44 walks, was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Finally, the pregame on-field ceremonies concluded with Josh Bonifay being recognized for being named the Appalachian League Manager of the Year.
Once the game began, play moved quickly. Astros starting pitcher, Jose Montero, pitched four hitless innings, gave up one walk and struck out five before exiting. However, offensively, the Astros were only able to manage one hit during that time and just one other during the rest of the game. Still, after four more scoreless innings from Christian Garcia, the game had no score at the end of the eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Cody Livesay led off with a single for the Braves, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved over to third on an Alejandro Piloto single. Then, the first run of the game was scored on a Bryan De La Rosa sacrifice fly. Finally, a Blake Brown RBI double plated a second run to give the Braves a 2-0 lead which the Astros could not answer.
The winning pitcher for the Braves was reliever Tyler Vail (1-0), who pitched the final 3.1 innings without giving up a hit while walking two and striking out two more. He entered the game following Jean Carlos Gil's 5.2 innings of work with two hits, no runs, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Astros will now prepare to host the Mets in game one of the West Division Playoffs on Saturday at 7:00pm. Tickets are now available both online and in the Astros' ticket office at Pioneer Park. For more information on the Greeneville Astros, please visit www.greenevilleastros.com or call (423) 638-0411.