HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA—After a strong comeback at home against Front Royal to win 9-7, the Cannons traveled to Harrisonburg to take on the Harrisonburg Turks.
Purcellville was looking to make it two wins in a row against a struggling Harrisonburg Turks team that was on a three-game losing streak and 1-4 on the young season. On the flip side, the Cannons were looking to become 4-1 and increase their lead atop the northern division in the Valley League.
The Cannons went down in order 1, 2, 3 and they struck out twice. On the mound to start for the Cannons was Colin Reid, who was making his first start this season. Reid worked an interesting first, getting the leadoff man to fly out. Brian Ariasa, the second hitter for the Turks made it to first on a fielding error by second baseman Raul Cabrera, but was picked off during the next at-bat. Reid then induced another flyball this time to right fielder Ray Hernandez and the Turks went down in order in the first.
The second went similar to the first for the Cannons as they were retired in order again and in the bottom of the second, the Turks would draw first blood with one run. The first Turk hitter lined out to first baseman Trevin Esquerra. The next hitter, Chase Smartt drew a one out walk and scored on a two-out double by Turks right fielder Tanner Dottlemayer. Reid induced another flyball in the following at-bat to retire the side with Purcellville trailing 1-0 at the end of 2.
Trey McDyre would leadoff the Cannons third inning with a single. Catcher Onassis Matos then doubled and McDyre would score and tie the game up at 1. Matos would then reach second on a passed ball during Nolan Ritchie’s at-bat. Ritchie worked a walk and stole second and the Cannons had second and third with one out. Tyler Ratliff would hit a deep sac fly that scored Matos and moved Ritchie to third and the Cannons went into the bottom of the third with a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Colin Reid retired the first two hitters but gave up a two-out walk and then an RBI double that would tie the game at 2. However that would be all for the Turks as Reid managed to bounce back, getting a groundout to end the inning.
The Cannons’ bats were very consistent tonight. After a strikeout to start the Cannon half of the fourth inning, first baseman Trevin Esquerra worked a walk. Then on a Raul Cabrera single, Esquerra managed to make it to third. Andrew Zban would hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Cabrera out at second but couldn’t score Esquerra. Then to break the 2-2 tie, Turks starting pitcher Zak Devermann balked bringing home Esquerra and giving the lead back to the Cannons 3-2 and then Andrew Zban stole third and was brought home on a Trey McDyre single. Cannons would end the fourth up 4-2.
Both teams managed to keep the score at 4-2 heading into the sixth, where the Cannons came out swinging. Sheldon Reed led off with a double and Ray Hernandez worked a walk to give the Cannons first and second with no outs. Trevin Esquerra flied out to deep right field, which allowed Reed to tag and reach third. Raul Cabrera would ground out to the third baseman, but Reed managed to score and Hernandez moved up to second. Andrew Zban then hit a solid single which allowed Hernandez to score from second making the score 6-2 halfway through six innings. Colin Reid would be relieved of pitching duties in the sixth, his final line would be 5.2 innings pitched, giving up 3 hits, three runs (all earned), 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Tom Sutera came in to the ballgame and pitched the Cannons out of a bases loaded jam, which would allow the Cannons to escape only giving up one run.
That would finish off the scoring for the Turks, but the Cannons weren’t done yet. They pressed for one run in the eighth, after a Ray Hernandez double to deep center, Trevin Esquerra lined a hard single that would bring in Hernandez. Then in the ninth, with one out, Sheldon Reed managed to work a walk and Trevin Esquerra tripled to down the right field line, scoring Reed easily.
Hunter Peck came on to relieve Tom Sutera in the eighth and worked a perfect inning, and striking out two Harrisburg hitters. Then closer Dalton Whitaker came in for the ninth, striking out one and securing the Cannons second road win and fourth win overall.
The Cannons look to stay hot against Winchester tomorrow. They last played Winchester at home and exploded for a 17-8 win in the Cannons home opener.