JOHNSON CITY – Playing for the first time since last Thursday, the Greeneville Flyboys returned to action and handed the Johnson City Doughboys an 11-5 loss Monday at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
Greeneville (30-14-1) scored the first six runs of the night before surviving a rally by the Doughboys in the sixth inning. The Flyboys would see their lead trimmed to 6-5 before scoring five unanswered runs to close out Johnson City.
The Flyboys secured first-place in the West Division with the win despite Elizabethton also winning on Monday night against Kingsport. The best that the River Riders could do by winning their remaining games coupled with five consecutive losses from Greeneville would be a half-game finish behind the Flyboys.
Daylen Reyes provided the first runs of the night for Greeneville in the top of the second inning. He delivered a two-out double that allowed Emanuel Dean and Christian Ficca to score and make it 2-0. Eddie Micheletti helped to double the advantage for the Flyboys in the top of the third inning with a triple that allowed a pair of runs to score and make it 4-0.
Greeneville stretched the lead to 6-0 in the top of the fifth inning as Micheletti and Dean tallied back-to-back doubles to lead off the frame. Dean plated Micheletti from second to make it 5-0, while Trevor Austin delivered a sacrifice fly later to plate Dean and make it 6-0.
Bryce Mayer was in complete control on the mound for the Flyboys as he made his ninth start of the season. Mayer allowed just two Johnson City batters to reach base (fielding error and walk) against him as he fanned eight batters. Mayer retired 13 consecutive batters for Johnson City before allowing a two-out walk in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Doughboys rallied against the Greeneville bullpen in the bottom of the sixth inning as Johnson City sent nine batters to the plate. Four straight hits opened the frame for Johnson City and trimmed the deficit to 6-2. Noah Rosato delivered the big hit for Johnson City with a double that cleared the bases and pulled the Doughboys to within a single run, 6-5.
Greeneville would keep its focus and produce a four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning as Jac Croom plated a run with a single, while Tayler Aguilar brought home a pair of runs with a single to make it 10-5. The Flyboys capped the scoring with a run-scoring single from Homer Bush, Jr. in the top of the eighth inning to make it 11-5.
Mayer improved to 1-0 on the season for Greeneville while Zane Robbins fanned four batters through 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Kelyn Fox and Ben Flowers closed the game for Greeneville with a pair of scoreless frames, while Flowers fanned all three batters that he faced in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Up next, Greeneville returns to Pioneer Park to host Kingsport for a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Flyboys host the Axmen again on Thursday for a single nine-inning contest beginning at 7 p.m. Be sure to visit www.FlyboysBaseball.com for news, upcoming games, promotions, tickets and more.