ELIZABETHTON – Grant Lashure was responsible for producing the first run in Greeneville Flyboys' history and Eddie Micheletti delivered a two-out run-scoring double in the sixth inning as the Flyboys dropped a 5-2 decision against the Elizabethton River Riders on Thursday night.
Greeneville's pitching made a strong statement early in the contest as starter Bryce Mayer and reliever Will Saxton combined to strike out eight Elizabethton batters through the opening four frames. Christian Ficca notched the first hit for the Flyboys in the top of the second inning with a leadoff single into centerfield.
Derek Tenney started the top of the fourth inning with a single and would later move into scoring position after taking second on a wild pitch in the dirt. With two outs in the frame, Lashure drove a ball into left field to score Tenney and give Greeneville a 1-0 advantage over the River Riders.
Saxton would help to keep the Elizabethton offense at bay out of the bullpen for the Flyboys as he fanned four straight batters to retire the side in the bottom of the third and to open the fourth inning. The Flyboys used a two-out rally in the top of the sixth inning to add to their lead as Lashure and Micheletti provided back-to-back hits to make it 2-0.
The Elizabethton offense would thwart Greeneville’s combined no-hitter and shutout in the bottom of the sixth inning as the River Riders rallied for three runs against the Flyboys pitching staff. A two-out single that would be knocked down in the infield allowed the first run of the game to score to trim the score to 2-1. Elizabethton would eventually take the lead for good following a triple that would plate a pair of runners to make it 3-2.
Elizabethton added a pair of runs to its total in the bottom of the seventh inning as the River Riders took advantage of a wild pitch and hit batter with the bases loaded to make it 5-2 heading to the eighth inning.
Greeneville’s final rally would be denied after back-to-back batters were hit to put a pair of runners on base with one out in the top of the eighth inning. Cal Lambert suffered the loss for the Flyboys after allowing the eventual game-winning run to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. Austin Troesser tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to close the game for Greeneville as he tallied a pair of strikeouts.
The Flyboys head back to Elizabethton on Friday night for a 7 p.m. matchup with the River Riders at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. Greeneville hosts Johnson City at Pioneer Park for its inaugural home opener Tuesday, June 8 at 7 p.m.