The Greeneville Astros (21-18) and the Danville Braves (22-19) met in the first game of their series at Pioneer Park on Thursday night. Danville would prevail 6-3 as their early six-run lead proved to be enough for the win.
The first inning was a quiet one, with only one hit recorded by Greeneville in the bottom of the first. Danville was put down in order, but scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. First baseman Austin Bush walked and advanced to second on a passed ball, only to then score on a Bradley Keller RBI double. Greeneville Pitcher Bryan Abreu retired the next three batters to end the inning.
After Danville retired the side in the bottom of the second, they struck again to start the third. The first three batters reached base on two walks and an infield single, loading the bases with no outs. Catcher William Contreras singled on a liner to right field that deflected off first baseman Reid Russell's glove to plate two runs. Stepping up to the plate, Bush connected this time for a three run shot on a fly ball over the right field fence to give Danville a 6-0 lead.
It wasn't until the bottom of the third when Greeneville would bring its first two runs across the plate. Shortstop Joan Mauricio led off the inning with a walk, moving up to second on a Wilson Amador single to center field. Second baseman Cody Bohanek kept the hits coming, hitting another single to center scoring Mauricio. Following a lineout and a walk, the bases were loaded with only one out. Third baseman Brody Westmoreland smacked a ball to the warning track in center field, but it was just short of a grand slam. The sacrifice fly was enough to score the second run of the inning and cut Danville's lead to four.
The Astros had a prime opportunity in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and no outs, but the Braves pitching forced the next three batters to fly out to right field without giving up a run. On the other side, the Astros pitching staff combined to throw six scoreless innings by relievers Adam Bleday and Ian Hardman. Bleday threw four and two-thirds innings striking out eight batters, only walking one. Hardman tossed the last two innings giving up two hits and striking out one.
Greeneville kept chipping away, adding another run in the bottom of the seventh. Amador led off the inning with a double, but was tagged out advancing to third as Bohanek reached on a fielder's choice. Bohanek would then come around to score as Gilberto Celestino tripled on a liner towards the right field corner. Danville would record the last two outs of the inning and they were able to keep Greeneville from putting any more runs on the board in the final two innings to take the series opener 6-3.
The Astros will be back on the diamond tomorrow night at 7:00pm for game two of the series against the Braves. Astros right hander Gerardo Bojorquez will face off against fellow righty Huascar Ynoa (0-1).
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.