The Greeneville Astros (30-27) blanked the Bristol Pirates (12-44) to the tune of a 16-0 win Monday night, setting a new season high in runs scored in a game. Stellar pitching combined with timely hitting propelled the Astros to their conquest of the Pirates.
Greeneville starter Hansel Paulino (4-1) sat down the Bristol lineup in the top of the first after giving up a single to start the game. Offensively Greeneville imitated Paulino's performance taking an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. Newcomer Juan Pineda singled on a sharp liner to center, ultimately advancing to third after a Frankeny Fernandez walk and a throwing error. Gilberto Celestino knocked in the first run on a sacrifice fly scoring Pineda.
The Astros started their thrashing in the bottom of the second by loading the bases with the first three batters of the inning. A sacrifice fly by Joan Mauricio brought home the first run of the inning as Pineda was hit by a pitch loading the bases for the second time. Fernandez and Celestino both notched two-RBI doubles giving the Astros a 6-0 lead through two.
Paulino continued his dominance going on to throw five scoreless innings before Gerardo Bojorquez came on in relief. Paulino finished the night with five strikeouts lowering his ERA to 2.79 on the season.
Greeneville put together their second five-run inning of the game in the bottom of the fifth loading the bases with only one out on two singles and a hit batter. Reid Russell worked a bases loaded walk and Ruben Castro reached base on a failed force attempt leading to a throwing error scoring the second and third run of the inning. Mauricio collected two more RBI's on a single to center before two strikeouts ended the inning.
The Astros went out strong scoring five more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, their third five-run inning of the game thanks in part to two multi-run home runs. After a single and a walk, Brody Westmoreland knocked his seventh home run of the season out of the park. Following a Jose Benjamin single, right fielder Patrick Mathis followed suit with a two-run home run capping the sixteen-run barrage.
Bojorquez matched Paulino by not allowing a run in three innings of work and striking out three, recording his first hold on the season. Reliever Dariel Aquino replaced Bojorquez in the top of the ninth securing the Astros fourth shutout victory of the season.
The Astros will close out the series tomorrow night against the Pirates looking for the series victory. 2016 eleventh-round pick Chad Donato (1-0) will take the mound for his third start of the season with first pitch scheduled for 7:00pm.
The Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information, visit www.greenevilleastros.com or call (423) 638-0411.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.