By: Shelby Dermer (Cannons' beat writer and broadcaster)
PURCELLVILLE VIRGINIA-- Cannons' starter Matt Copley allowed two run over the first two innings to put Purcellville in an early hole against the Woodstock River Bandits, but was able to recover and throw five scorless frames to end his night as Purcellville climbed back to defeat Woodstock, 5-2, on Friday night at Fireman's Field.
Purcellville improved to 3-0 versus Woodstock this season. In those three victories, the trio of Cannons' starters (Pat Doudican, Zach Sloan and Copley) have combined to post a 3-0 record and a 0.86 ERA over a 21-inning span.
Cannons' right fielder Ray Hernandez may have failed to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, but did break a 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 7th to score catcher Jonathan Cline which gave Purcellville a 3-2 advantage.
Hernandez reclaimed the team-lead in RBIs with the sac fly after designated hitter Onassis Matos had tied him for the club lead with a 2-out RBI single to score DeAndre Amion in the first, which tied the game at one. Matos added a double later in the game, his fifth hit in two starts against the River Bandits this season.
After a solo home run by Woodstock right fielder Cole German gave the River Bandits a 2-1 lead in the second, the Cannons could not make up the run off starter Hunter Morgan, who pitched well on the mound despite a 7.32 ERA entering the contest.
First baseman Wade Arduini doubled to leadoff the fifth and advanced to third on a wild pitch, he later came around to score on a 2-out RBI single by third baseman Raul Cabrera to tie the game at two. Arduini would knock in his third run of the season in the Cannons' 2-run 8th inning with a ground ball that plated Eriq White. One batter later, outfielder Andrew Zban scored on a wild pitch to cap off the game's scoring.
Following Copley's second quality start in three tries, RHP Tyler Yancey came on to toss two scoreless innings to pick up his first save of the season and move the Cannons out of the cellar of the VBL North division.
Now winners of three of their last four games, the Cannons (8-16) will travel to Staunton on Saturday to take on the Braves (8-12), who defeated Purcellville, 11-6, in the two team's first meeting last Wednesday at Fireman's FIeld.
The Braves have scored 22 runs over their current 2-game winning streak.
Arduini (Winthrop University) is looking to shake off back-to-back losses when he takes the mound against the Braves. In his last outing at Waynesboro on June 26th, Arduini allowed three earned runs over five innings, but three unearned runs that the Generals tallied in the bottom of the fourth proved to be the difference in a 6-3 Cannons' loss. Arduini is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in three starts this season.
Parker Johnson will make his first start of the season for the Generals. Johnson has been lights out in five appearances from the bullpen this season, posting a 1-1 record and an impressive 1.80 ERA. Johnson earned his first win of the season by blanking the Cannons over three innings last Wednesday and has not allowed a run since June 14th.
First pitch at Gypsy Hill Park is scheduled for 7:30 pm.