Payano’s hit gives Greeneville walk off win

Greeneville, TN – The Greeneville Astros won Sunday afternoon’s game versus the Burlington Royals by a score of 5-4 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the win, the Astros avoid a series sweep and increase their season record to 17-14. Greeneville remains in first place in the Appalachian League West division.

The Astros’ offense was unstoppable Sunday afternoon as they recorded 15 total hits in the contest, with eight starters reaching base successfully. Five players had multi-hit games and four players hit for extra bases.

The Astros got to work early in Sunday’s ballgame by scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. Arturo Michelena, who had two hits and two walks in the game, singled and then advanced to third on an errant throw by Burlington’s pitcher. The Appalachian League leader in RBI, Connor Goedert, then hit his eleventh double of the season to knock in Michelena and give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Burlington scored two in the top of the second to take the lead on a wild pitch and an infield force out.  However, Greeneville scored again in bottom of the second thanks exclusively to Hector Roa, who went three-for-five at the plate in the game. Roa got himself on base by launching a deep fly ball off the center field wall for a double. He then advanced to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game up at 2-2.

Burlington scored two more runs across the fourth and fifth innings.  Riley King got things started in the fourth with a leadoff triple and scored on a ground out.  Brandon Dulin then launched his league-leading eighth homer of the year in the fifth to put the Royals ahead by two runs.

After a Kevin Martir RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth, the Astros found themselves still trailing 4-3.  Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Greeneville combined a couple of extra base hits to tie the game once again and swing the momentum in their favor. Justin Garcia pulled a fly ball to right field and sprinted all the way to third base for his first triple of the season. For Garcia, it was his fourth straight game recording a base hit and his seventh extra base hit of the year. Hector Roa came up next and smacked his second double of the game to plate Garcia from third and tie the score at 4-4.

With the game still tied up, the Astros entered the bottom of the ninth inning looking to prevent extra innings for the third straight game versus the Royals. With one out, Brauly Mejia sent a groundball up the middle for a single to get himself on base. Hector Roa followed with a single to move Mejia over to second. Kevin Martir then drew a walk to load the bases for Luis Payano. Payano, who ripped a bases-clearing double to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning versus the Bluefield Blue Jays in last Wednesday’s game, continued his clutch hitting and lined a ball to right field to score Mejia from third and win the game for the Astros.

While Greeneville’s offense put together an impressive performance to win the game on a walk-off hit, the Astros’ pitching kept them in the game thanks to solid performances from Junior Garcia and Ryan Deemes. Garcia got the start and pitched for five innings, allowing six hits and striking out four. Ryan Deemes entered in the sixth and was virtually untouchable, dealing four scoreless innings of one-hit baseball and striking out three. Deemes, who leads Greeneville pitchers with a 0.75 ERA, was accredited his second win of the season in the ballgame.

The Astros will next take on the second-place Kingsport Mets in a doubleheader contest on Monday, July 27th. The first game will start at 5:00 PM with gates opening at 4:00 PM. The second game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.

The Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros.  For more information, visit or call (423) 638-0411.

(Courtesy Greeneville Astros)

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