The Greeneville Astros (1-0) shocked the Elizabethton Twins (0-1) in game one of the Appalachian League Western Division finals coming out on top with a 3-2 victory on Sunday night. With the series moving to Elizabethton, the Astros only need one more win to advance to the championship series.
Astros starter Jairo Solis started the game with a scoreless first inning using a double play by the defense to escape any damage after a throwing error left a runner on first base with one out. The Twins however, would score their lone run against Solis in the top of the second on a laser home run by J.J. Robinson to lead off the inning.
Greeneville outfielder and 2016 team MVP Frankeny Fernandez returned the favor in the bottom of the second with his own leadoff home run tying the game at one run apiece through two innings. It wouldn't be until the fourth inning when Greeneville took its first lead of the game. First baseman Roman Garcia started the inning with a double down the left field line, eventually scoring on a Fernandez single for the 2-1 lead.
Astros pitcher Humberto Castellanos made an appearance in the top of the fifth inning, throwing three innings of scoreless relief. Castellanos only gave up three hits and struck out three Twins batters along the way.
Elizabethton stayed in the game up until the end, scoring one run in the top of the eighth making it a 2-2 game. After a strike out to start the inning, center fielder Akil Baddoo walked before Greeneville forced a fly out for the second out of the inning. In search of a clutch two-out hit, second baseman Jose Miranda came through with a double to right scoring Baddoo from first.
Greeneville mustered up some eighth inning magic to regain the lead, setting them up for the game one victory. With one out left fielder Wilson Amador singled to left for his second of the night. With Juan Pineda at the plate Amador got stuck in a pickle on a pickoff attempt, but Amador evaded being tagged out advancing to second. Pineda then tripled on a soft fly ball to right field scoring Amador to take a one run lead. Reliever and Tusculum Alum Tim Hardy (1-0) notched the win closing out the ninth inning with two strike outs.
The Astros will now travel to Elizabethton as the series shifts to Joe O'Brien field for game two and three if necessary. Last year's eleventh round draft pick Chad Donato will take the mound for the Astros as they look to make an appearance in the Appalachian League Championship for the second time in three years.
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.