Greeneville, TN - A stormy Saturday night saw a terrific pitching matchup between the Greeneville Astros (30-33) and the Elizabethton Twins (35-28). Greeneville dropped the opening game of the series by a final score of 1-0 despite a stellar outing from pitchers Patrick Sandoval and Diogenes Almengo.
Centerfielder Frankeny Fernandez extended his on-base streak to 24 straight games when he drew a walk in the bottom of the first inning.
The Astros saw their best offensive opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning when third baseman Abraham Toro-Hernandez lined a one-out triple down the right field line. However, Greeneville was unable to capitalize with a runner in scoring position, heading to the fifth scoreless.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth following a walk and back-to-back singles. Shortstop Ariel Montesino recorded a sacrifice fly scoring the first and only run of the game. Sandoval forced the next batter to pop up and get out of the bases loaded jam.
Greeneville had one more good chance to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. Second baseman Stijn van der Meer reached base via the hit-by-pitch, working his way to third base following a wild pitch and a passed ball. With two outs, a grounder to the second baseman ended the inning keeping the Astros scoreless.
Sandoval and Diogenes Almengo combined to pitch nine innings of one-run ball. Sandoval pitched five innings giving up four hits, one run and striking out four. Almengo did much of the same, pitching four innings but holding the Twins hitless and striking out four.
The Astros return to the field Sunday at 6:00pm for game two of the three-game home series at Pioneer Park. Greeneville will send first round draft pick Forrest Whitley to the mound, facing Ryan Mason of the Twins.
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.