Greeneville, TN - The Greeneville Astros took an early lead, but the Pulaski Mariners took the win in game one of the best-of-three Appalachian League Championship Series on Wednesday night at Pioneer Park. For the Astros, they are in a familiar position as they also dropped game one at home in the semifinal round against the Kingsport Mets. They will now be looking to duplicate what they accomplished in that series by winning the next two games on the road.
The Astros led the Mariners early on thanks to a two-run homer by Chase McDonald, with Tanner Mathis on second, in the bottom of the first inning. For McDonald, although he had seven home runs during the regular season, his shot to left field was his first at Pioneer Park.
In the second inning, after Jesus Ugueto got on with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, the Mariners got a RBI single on a line drive to center field by Tony DeMello with two outs. That cut the Astros lead in half at 2-1.
Two innings later, in the fourth, the Mariners loaded the bases with a walk and two singles. Then, Kristian Brito drew a walk to bring in the tying run. The next batter, Tony DeMello hit a sacrifice fly into right field to score the go-ahead run for the Mariners. However, on the throw back in, the Astros caught the Mariners runners of the bases and recorded a very rare triple play.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Astros got a leadoff double from Brian Holberton. Then, just like earlier in the game, Chase McDonald came through for the Astros to knock in a run on a line drive single to center field to tie the game. On the night, McDonald finished two-for-four with a homerun and 3 RBI.
In the top of the seventh, after a leadoff double and single, the Mariners were threatening. Then the next batter, Tony DeMello, hit a RBI single on a ground ball to center field and Aaron Barbosa followed a couple of batters later with a RBI single of his own to give the Mariners a 5-3 lead.
Down by two runs, the Astros let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, the Astros loaded the bases with three walks and had two good hitters coming up. However, the Astros would end up leaving the runners stranded and were unable to get any more base runners in the eighth or ninth inning.
The Astros will travel to Pulaski to visit the Mariners at Historic Calfee Park in game two of the Appalachian League Championship Series on Thursday at 7:00pm. Game three, if necessary, will also be at the home of the Mariners.
For more information on the Greeneville Astros, please 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.