Greeneville, TN - On the night of their final home game of the year, the Greeneville Astros (31-34) beat the Elizabethton Twins (36-29) with a final score of 2-1. Pregame festivities honored two Astros players that excelled on and off the field, both of whom set an ideal image for teammates.
Catcher/infielder Ray Henderson received the Oscar Padron Award, named in honor of the 2004 Greeneville Astros pitching coach, for his outstanding character and leadership skills. While not only excelling on the field, Henderson was often seen helping teammates whenever needed as well as interacting with fans.
Outfielder Frankeny Fernandez was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2016 season as he was consistently among the team leaders in several offensive categories throughout the season. As of Monday, Fernandez led the Astros in runs scored, doubles, RBI, walks, and stolen bases in addition to being second in games played, at-bats, hits and triples.
Shortly after presenting the annual team awards, the two standouts continued to put on a show. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Henderson smashed his third home run of the season over the left field fence giving Greeneville an early 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Fernandez continued his hot streak by reaching base in his 25th consecutive game, the second longest streak in the Appalachian League this season.
Astros starting pitcher Guadalupe Chavez threw four innings of one run ball, striking out six Twins players and only giving up one hit. Elizabethton managed to score their sole run of the game in the top of the fourth when a single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. An RBI groundout tied the game at one, but Chavez ended the threat striking out the next two batters.
In the bottom of the fifth, Greeneville would regain their lead starting with a leadoff single by right fielder Luis Payano. After stealing second base, his seventh of the year, Payano tagged up and went to third after Vicente Sanchez flew out to right field. Designated hitter Jonathan Matute then stepped up to the plate and smacked an RBI single to center field, scoring the eventual game winning run.
Ricardo Castro (3-2) and Dariel Aquino combined to pitch the final five innings striking out a combined five batters and only surrendering one hit. Castro earned the win while Aquino notched his first save of the year.
The Astros will travel to Elizabethton for their final series of the year as they play a three-game set against the Twins. Cristian Javier (1-1) will take the mound for Greeneville with Elizabethton sending Alex Schick as his counterpart.
The Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information, call (423) 638-0411.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.