GREENEVILLE, TN- The Greeneville Astros have released the dates for their 2014 schedule, which will mark their 11th 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 38-30 during the 2013 regular season and advanced to the Appalachian League Championship Series after a dramatic win over the Kingsport Mets in the first round of the playoffs, will open the 2014 season at home for just the second time in club history. The only other time the club opened a season at home was in 2007.
Opening Day will be on Thursday, June 19th, two weeks after the start of the First-Year Player Draft. The Astros will begin the season with a six-game homestand. A three-game series with the Elizabethton Twins will start the season. Then, a three-game set hosting the Princeton Rays will begin on Sunday, June 22nd and will mark the first of nine Sunday home games throughout the season.
When the Astros hit the road for the first time, they will face the Danville Braves and then the Burlington Royals. By facing the two teams back-to-back, and due to their proximity to each other, the Astros' will essentially get to turn their two farthest trips of the season into one trip by staying in the area following their series with Danville. That will conclude the June portion of the schedule.
The Astros will travel back to East Tennessee to begin July with a single game against last season's first round playoff opponent, the Kingsport Mets. After the first league-wide off day on July 2nd, the Astros will be back in Kingsport on July 3rd.
On July 4th, after nine days away, the Astros will return home to Pioneer Park for their annual Independence Day Celebration with back-to-back home games against the Mets. That set will be followed by a single game at home against Bristol, who switched to an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason.
The Astros will turn around and make a quick two-game trip to Bristol from July 7th-8th before returning home for another six-game homestand against the division rival Johnson City Cardinals and the defending Appalachian League Champion Pulaski Mariners. Then, an off day will immediately follow on July 15th, which will also be the day of the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game hosted by the Minnesota Twins.
After the second of four league-wide off days, the Astros will make their annual trip to Bluefield, WV to take on the Blue Jays. Then, the Astros will conclude their season series against the Danville Braves with three games back at home.
The next six games, which are all against Kingsport and Bristol, offer an interesting scheduling twist. After two games at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, the Astros will conclude their series against the Mets with the final of the three at home. Then, a three-game series against Bristol will begin and end in Greeneville with the middle game taking place at Boyce Cox Field in Bristol.
As the end of July approaches, the Astros will make their first road trip to face the Elizabethton Twins in a three-game series. Then, over the course of their third six-game homestand of the season, the Astros will host Johnson City and Bristol before the third league-wide off day of the season on August 6th.
The Astros will return to action with their lone trip to Pulaski, VA to face the Mariners in a three-game set to close their season series. Then, they will close two more season series and head into mid-August as they host the Burlington Royals before visiting the Elizabethton Twins for one final time.
Over the next four days, the Astros will face the Kingsport Mets with game one of the series in Kingsport, game two in Greeneville and the final two games back on the road at Hunter Wright Stadium. At the conclusion of the four-game set, the final league-wide off day will take place on August 20th.
As the Astros head down the stretch in search of one of two playoff spots in the West Division, they will have to begin their final push by making one final overnight trip to face the Princeton Rays. Then, the Astros will conclude their home schedule by hosting the Bluefield Blue Jays for three games from August 24th -26th. Finally, they will conclude the season with a three-game series at Johnson City, which could prove to be crucial in the quest for a playoff berth.
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 30th.
In the first round of the playoffs, each division leader will face the second place finisher in their 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 from the first round will square off in a best-of-three playoff that will begin at the home of the easternmost club. The Championship Series will conclude with game two and game three, if necessary, at the home of the westernmost 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 2014 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.
2014 GREENEVILLE ASTROS SCHEDULE
June 19-21 ELIZABETHTON TWINS
June 22-24 PRINCETON RAYS
June 25-27 @ Danville Braves
June 28-30 @ Burlington Royals
July 1 @ Kingsport Mets
July 2 OFF
July 3 @ Kingsport Mets
July 4-5 KINGSPORT METS
July 6 BRISTOL PIRATES
July 7-8 @ Bristol Pirates
July 9-11 JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
July 12-14 PULASKI MARINERS
July 15 OFF
July 16-18 @ Bluefield Blue Jays
July 19-21 DANVILLE BRAVES
July 22-23 @ Kingsport Mets
July 24 KINGSPORT METS
July 25 BRISTOL PIRATES
July 26 @ Bristol Pirates
July 27 BRISTOL PIRATES
July 28-30 @ Elizabethton Twins
July 31- Aug 2 JOHNSON CITY CARDINALS
August 3-5 BRISTOL PIRATES
August 6 OFF
August 7-9 @ Pulaski Mariners
August 10-12 BURLINGTON ROYALS
August 13-15 @ Elizabethton Twins
August 16 @ Kingsport Mets
August 17 KINGSPORT METS
August 18-19 @ Kingsport Mets
August 20 OFF
August 21-23 @ Princeton Rays
August 24-26 BLUEFIELD BLUE JAYS
August 27-29 @ Johnson City Cardinals