The Greeneville Astros had their blood drive game tonight. You give blood, you get in free. So I missed the top of the first as I was topping off a pint of O+ for the Medic Regional Blood Network. When I got into the park, the G-Stros were already down 2-0 to the Pete Rose Jr. managed Bristol Sox.
Tyson Perez pitched fairly well scattering 8 hits over 5 1/3 IP, giving up 3 runs (2 earned). He left the game down 3-0 with runners on the corners. Side arming Scott Zuloaga came in from the pen to get the final two outs of the 6th and to save Perez from any more damage.
The B-Sox changed pitchers in the 7th. The starter, Ethan Icard, had allowed just three hits through 6 innings. The first reliever that came in for the B-Sox got lit up for 6 runs. Jordan Scott had a three run triple and then Jessie Wierzbicki delivered the big blow with a towering 2 run homer.
You can see a pitching change came at the end of the home run trot. In between batters, I had noticed Greeneville hitting coach Josh Bonifay and Astros roving instructor Milt Thompson talking and smiling. I wondered if they hadn't picked up on something with the pitcher because the hitters were hitting like they knew what was coming.
In the 8th, the defense fell apart. The inning opened on an error by 2nd baseman Josh McGee, who had had an otherwise stellar night in the field. Then with the bases loaded and one out, Darwin Rivera made back to back errors on balls that should have started 5-4-3 double plays. So even though the box score shows Steve Martin with a blown save, it was Rivera who really blew it. Though Martin's wild pitch did allow the tying run to score.
Rivera got a shot at redemption in the 8th. Garen Wright lead off with double to center. Luis Alverez sac bunted him to 3rd and reached when the 3rd baseman could come up with the ball. It was the second time the catcher Alverez has reached on a bunt. He laid down a bunt for a hit to open the bottom of the 5th. So with runners on the corners, Darwin Rivera comes to the plate with a shot a redemption. He lifted a fly ball to deep center. Wright tagged and easily scored the go ahead run.
Steve Martin came back out for the 9th. With two outs, it was ol' Bama Bangs himself Ross Wilson at the plate for the B-Sox. With a full count, here is the final pitch of the game.