COVINGTON, VIRGINIA—The Cannons started out hot, winning their first two games of the season. One win on the road to open the season and another win at home. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case today after coming off a postponed game on Monday, the Cannons traveled to Covington to take on the Covington Lumberjacks.
The Cannons were threatening early after newcomer Tyler Ratliff, playing in his first Cannons game this season, singled and then stole second base in the first inning. That was followed by a one out walk from DH Sheldon Reed. The threat would pass after the Lumberjacks pitcher, Jared Scott would strikeout the following Cannon hitters.
Covington would draw first blood in the bottom of the first getting their leadoff hitter on with a leadoff walk. After a single that would move the runner over to third, Andy Crum managed to get a big strikeout with runners on first and third, the Lumberjacks got a one out single that gave them the early lead 1-0 and that was just the beginning.
After getting the leadoff man, Payton Marshall to fly out to left field, Lumberjacks pitcher, Jared Scott ran into some, walking three Cannons in a row, to load the bases. That would turn the lineup card back over, and after a long battle, Scott managed to get Nolan Ritchie to ground into a double play to end the inning and the Cannon threat.
The storyline for the Cannons in this game was their inability to get anything going with their bats, which was the compete opposite storyline on Saturday as they beat Winchester 17-8. In the first 4 innings of the game against Covington, they had 8 walks but could not do anything with that. In the third inning after a leadoff walk to Tyler Ratliff, Sheldon Reed grounded out to the second baseman. However, Ratliff managed to get to second and would end up scoring later that inning on a Payton Marshall groundout. Purcellville had two more walks in that inning but could not get them in.
The bottom of the third is where the ball started to jump off the bats for the Lumberjacks. Leadoff hitter Orley Arellano led off the bottom of the third inning by reaching base on a throwing error by Cannon third baseman Trey McDyre. A sac bunt from Caleb Wells would move Arellano up to second, and he would then score on an RBI double from Lumberjack third baseman Sean Lawlor. After a groundout in the following at-bat. Cannon starter Andy Crum, hit Ryan Alvarez and then gave up a two-run homerun to second baseman Allan Berrios that would push the Lumberjack lead to 5-1. It was smooth sailing from there for the Lumberjack bats, Berrios would hit another homerun in the bottom of the fifth and it would be a three-run homerun making it 9-1. The Lumberjacks would add one more in the eighth and the Cannons would answer with one more in the ninth.
Despite a 10-2 loss, what gets lost in the translation of the score for the Cannons, was their ability to make the Lumberjack pitchers really work. Cannon at-bats would last over five pitches. They were patient and pesky hitters, unfortunately they found more leather gloves than green grass. Mike Taylor relieved Andy Crum in the fifth, Tanner Skidmore followed in the sixth and Parker Dyson finished out the last two innings for the Cannons in this one.
The final line for the Cannons was 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 errors, while the Covington Lumberjacks finished with 10 runs on 13 hits with one error.
The Cannons continue their stretch of 14 straight games tomorrow at home against Front Royal. First pitch is at 7 PM and after that it’s two straight road games, and two home games to close out the weekend.