By: Shelby Dermer (Cannons' broadcaster and beat writer)
STRASBURG, VIRGINIA-- The Purcellville Cannons ended their regular-season with an 11-5 loss to the Strasburg Express on Tuesday night at First Bank Park.
The Cannons took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Onassis Matos, then regained a 2-1 advantage when Matos singled home David Salgueiro in the top of the third.
However, Strasburg scored four times in the third and fourth inning to break the game wide open. Three straight RBI knocks in the third ended the night of Cannons' starter Mike Tang, the biggest blast being a 2-run home run by first baseman Dylan Ingram. Tang got the loss in his first start of the summer, allowing five earned runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings.
After a solo home run to put Strasburg on the board in the second, right fielder Michael Curry's 2-run double off reliever Tommy Ziegen capped off back-to-back 4-run innings for the Express, giving them a 9-2 lead after four innings.
The Cannons scored twice in the eighth inning on an RBI single by Denathan Dukes and a ground out by Andrew Zban, but went down 1-2-3 in the ninth as the Express won their 30th game of the season, tied with the Waynesboro Generals for most in the Valley League.
Strasburg reliever George Eubanks got the victory, allowing one run over 3 1/3 innings in first relieve of starter Ryan Anderson.
Purcellville finishes their 42-game regular-season slate with an overall record of 19-23 (5-16 on the road, 14-7 at home) and will return to Strasburg to take on the defending VBL-champion Express (30-12) on Thursday for game one of their first-round playoff series.
Game 2 of the series will return to Fireman's Field in Purcellville, a venue the Cannons finished 9-1 at in the month of July, their lone loss coming to Strasburg on July 14th.
The Cannons went 1-5 against the Express in their six meetings this season, 0-3 on the road.