Cannons Trevin Esquerra drove in two runs against the TomSox on Friday night at Fireman's Field. Photo by Matt Gusmerotti.
PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA—It was a battle of first place teams as the Charlottesville TomSox traveled to Purcellville to take on the Cannons. It was a North division vs. South division battle between the top teams in both divisions.
Kyle Morton was on the hill for the Cannons, after giving up a leadoff walk and then a single, he managed to get the next three TomSox out to end the top of the first. The Cannons faced TomSox starter, Evan Sperling. Sperling managed to get the first two Cannons out in the bottom of the first. After Sheldon Reed and Andy Szamski both drew walks to put runners on first and second, Sperling managed to get out of the inning with a groundout, ending the two-out threat and keeping the score tied at 0.
In the second, the TomSox drew first blood, with one out, Cole Migliorini drew a walk and then moved to third on two wild pitches. Then Kyle Battle, flew out to Cannons Center Fielder, Andrew Zban and Migliorini tagged up to score from third making the score 1-0, TomSox. In the bottom of the third, Trey McDyre worked a leadoff walk and Brenton Sanders sacrifice bunted McDyre to second. With one out and a runner on second, Beaux Guilbeau worked a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. The lineup card turned over back to the top of the order, where Payton Marshall would battle out a walk and the bases were loaded for the Cannons. That brought Trevin Esquerra to the plate who was looking to extend his 12-game hitting streak and he did with a 2-RBI single to give the Cannons a 2-1 lead. The Cannons would head to the top of the third leading the TomSox 2-1.
The TomSox were shutout in the top of the third and the Cannons added one more to their tally in the bottom of the third. After two quick outs to start the bottom of the third, Trey McDyre struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt, but TomSox catcher, Logan Harvey threw wide of first base and it rolled to the right field wall. McDyre was motoring and ended up making it to third on the throwing error. With two outs and a runner on third, Brenton Sanders singled to score McDyre and increase the Cannons lead 3-1.
The TomSox managed to get one back in the top of the fourth, after an Eric Jones leadoff double, the designated hitter Ari Sechopoulos grounded out to Nolan Ritchie at second, moving Jones to third. Then Rick Spiers singled to score Jone from third and cut the lead 3-2 and that is where the score would stay heading to the bottom of the fourth. The Cannons went quickly in the bottom of the fourth, three up and three down.
The TomSox went down easily in the top of the fifth, only having one baserunner via an error. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cannons managed to tally another run. Sheldon Reed doubled down the right field line, and would come around to score after an Andy Szamski single to make the score 4-2. The bottom of the fifth would end with the Cannons leading 4-2.
Morton and the Cannons ran in to a little trouble in the sixth. Morton gave up a leadoff single to Ari Sechopoulos and he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rick Spiers sacrificed Ari over to third to put a runner on third and only one out. Morton would then surrender an RBI-double to Cole Migliorini to make the game 4-3 in favor of the Cannons. Kyle Battle grounded out and that brought Logan Harvey to the plate and he would draw a walk. That would bring in Hunter Peck to relieve Kyle Morton in the sixth. Max Bazin would also pinch hit for leadoff hitter Bryce Windham. Bazin would reach on a throwing error and that allowed Migliorini to score and tie the game up at 4. Peck did get the following hitter out to only allow one inherited run and limited the damage to only one run. Cannons and TomSox headed to the bottom of the sixth tied at 4. The Cannons were shutout in the bottom of the sixth and would not score again for the remainder of the game.
The seventh inning was dagger to the heart of the Cannons. After two quick outs, the third out eluded the Cannons. Paired with sloppy defense, the Cannons gave up four runs to the TomSox and they took a commanding lead 8-4 and would hold on to win by that score. Coach Fuller stated after the game, the difference in the game was that sixth inning, “After we recorded two outs in the sixth, we gave up five straight hits, we couldn’t get anybody out.” He also went on to say that the pitching needs to hold up after the starters come out of the games.
It was a close battle for most of the game, but the TomSox pulled out with an 8-4 win improving to 16-5 on the season. The Cannons fall to 15-8, but still remain in first place in the North division with a 2-game lead over second place Front Royal. The Cannons are on the road on Saturday at Woodstock, and return home on Monday, July 3rd for a makeup game against Waynesboro.