Cannons Catcher Onassis Matos is on a bit of a power surge as oif late. Matos has homered in 2 consecutive games and went 2-4 with a HR and a Double vs the Braves on Monday. Photo by Matt Gusmerotti.
Cannons back in win column after win at Staunton
By Matt Davis
PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA—The Cannons were back after an off day on Monday, looking to get back in the win column after losing 2 home games over the weekend. They would turn to ace Alex London, to put them back into the win column.
The Cannons went quickly in the first, going down in order 1, 2, 3. The Staunton Braves were looking to get ahead of the Cannons early, and they did. London gave up a leadoff double to Payton Robertson. After a fly out, Robertson would tag to third. London managed to bounce back with a strikeout but gave up a 2-out single which allowed Robertson to score. The Cannons would head to the second trailing 1-0.
In the second, the Cannons and Braves would each go quietly without much of a threat of scoring. Both teams headed to the top of the third still 1-0. The Cannons were looking for their moxy at Moxie Field. They were trailing 1-0 and looking to avoid a three-game losing streak. Nolan Ritchie led off the third with a single. Andy Szamski followed that up with a walk and Trevin Esquerra singled. However, on Esquerra’s single, it hit Nolan Ritchie, making him out and leaving runners on first and second with one out. Ray Hernandez then hit in to a fielder’s choice. With 2 outs and a runner on, Sheldon Reed hit a single in between the first and second baseman into right field which would score Szamski and tie the game at 1. London would retire the Braves in order 1, 2, 3 to end the third.
A scoreless fourth for both teams would lead to a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth, where the Cannons took over and would not look back. The Braves would get two quick outs to start the fifth, but the Cannons would not give up. Ray Hernandez would reach base on a throwing error by shortstop Antwaun Tucker. Sheldon Reed singled to put runners on first and second with two outs. Onassis Matos would step in and deliver a huge blow to the Braves, a two-out, 2-RBI double to push the lead to 3-1 Cannons. Trey McDyre and Andrew Zban then worked back-to-back walks and Brenton Sanders blooped a single to left field to score McDyre and Matos. The Cannons would head to the bottom of the fifth leading 5-1. The Braves were pesky and didn’t quit either. Alex London would walk the first two Braves of the inning. After a double steal to put runners on second and third, London walked a third straight hitter. Tom Sutera would be called upon to relieve Alex London. Sutera got his first hitter, Austin Edens, to ground into a fielder’s choice, scoring one. Antwaun Tucker then singled scoring Jay Charleston to cut the Cannons’ lead 5-3. Sutera finished the inning by getting Henry Kreienbaum to ground into a double play. The fifth inning would end, Cannons 5 Braves 3.
The Cannons kept their momentum going, scoring two runs in the sixth. Trevin Esquerra reached on an error and three batters later, Onassis Matos launched a mammoth two-out, two-run homerun to make the lead 7-3 Cannons. In the seventh, Brenton Sanders hit a one-out double and 3 batters later, Trevin Esquerra hit an RBI single to score Sanders. The Cannons pitching shutout the Braves in the sixth and seventh. Heading into the eighth inning, the Cannons led the Braves 8-3.
The Braves managed to quiet down the Cannons bats in the eighth, sending them down in order, 1, 2, 3. The Braves fought back to get the first three hitters on in the eighth, single, walk and an RBI single. The Braves were still threatening, Andrew Labosky hit in to a fielder’s choice, but on the throwing error, Henry Kreienbaum was able to score the second run of the inning to make the score 8-5 Cannons. Dalton Whitaker would come in and get the Cannons out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score at 8-5 and that is where the game would end.
Alex London would go 4 innings, gave up 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 7 walks and 3 strikeouts. Tom Sutera came in relief and pitched 3.2 innings, gave up 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks and three strikeouts. Tom would be the pitcher of record and receive the win. Dalton Whitaker came in for the last 1.1 innings. He gave up no runs, no hits, 1 walk and 1 strikeout.
The Cannons improve to 12-7 on the season and are still atop the North division. The Cannons return home on Tuesday to play Harrisonburg at 7 PM with the gates opening at 5:30 PM.