WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA—Yesterday with a win over Harrisonburg, the Cannons matched their season long winning streak of two games and today they pushed it to three with a big win over Winchester.
In their last meeting, which was the Cannons home opener, the Cannons would be victorious by a score of 17-8. Much of today’s game was the same, with the bats of the Cannons showing up throughout the game.
The Cannons had a busy first inning as Nolan Ritchie tripled to leadoff the game. He was then brought in by a Raul Cabrera double to deep right center. Sheldon Reed then hit a single up the middle, scoring Cabrera. After a walk by Ray Hernandez, Trey McDyre would ground into a fielder’s choice. With runners on first and third with two outs, Payton Marshall ripped a single to right field, Sheldon Reed would score easily and Trey McDyre would also score after a fielding error by the right fielder.
The Cannons took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the first, where starter Alex London, where he worked a solid inning only giving up one runner who reached base on an error. Catcher Onassis Matos got a huge third out by throwing out a would-be base stealer at third.
The second inning for the Cannons and Royals went very fast as both teams were retired in order 1, 2, 3. At the end of 2, the Cannons were leading the Royals 4-0. In the third inning, the Cannons had the first two hitters retired via the strikeout, but Trevin Esquerra notched a single and so did Trey McDyre. The Cannons were threatening with first and second and two outs, but the crafty right hander, Daniel Collins managed to pitch out of that jam and keep the game at 4-0 Cannons.
The bats for the Royals came alive in the bottom of the third as the Cannons gave up a leadoff bunt single and then got two straight fielder’s choice outs. With two outs and a runner on first, the Cannons gave up back-to-back RBI doubles to make the game a little tighter at 4-2.
After scoring four in the first inning, the Cannons never looked back and never lost the lead. They would add one more in the fourth after Andrew Zban led off with a walk, Onassis Matos singled. With runners on first and second, Nolan Ritchie would ground into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, but Zban would score on the throwing error on the second baseman, pushing the Cannons lead up to 3, 5-2. In the bottom of the fourth the Royals did not threaten at all, but catcher Onassis Matos added to his terrific game behind the plate throwing out another would-be base stealer. Cannons would head to the fifth inning leading 5-2.
After both teams finished the fifth inning without any threats, the Cannons would threaten in the sixth with Zban singling and stealing second. He would advance to third on the throwing error by the catcher, but the next two Cannon hitters would go down ending the Purcellville threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, after getting the first Royal hitter to flyout, Alex London would walk the next hitter and then gave up an RBI double. However he was able to bare down and get a big strikeout. One more runner was able to score, after reaching base on an error, he would score on a passed ball. Alex London pitched another strong outing going, 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs but had 6 strikeouts.
The Cannons again had a big inning late in the game against Winchester, it wasn’t like the home opener where they surged for 10 runs, but they would score four in the seventh. After two quick outs, Ray Hernandez reached on an error, Trevin Esquerra singled and Trey McDyre walked. Payton Marshall hit a 2 RBI single and then advanced to second on a throwing error by the left fielder. Andrew Zban then doubled and brought in two more Cannons to give the Cannons a 9-4 lead. The Royals would push one runner across the plate in the bottom of the seventh making it 9-5.
In the top of the eighth, Nolan Ritchie and Raul Cabrera worked back-to-back walks. Kyle Ouellette pinch hit for Sheldon Reed and laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move the runners over to second and third with only one out. Andy Szamski, who replaced Ray Hernandez in the seventh in right field, hit into a fielder’s choice that ended with Ritchie getting gunned down at the plate. Cabrera would move to third and on the ensuing at-bat Szamski stole second and the error on that play would allow Cabrera to score from third. Trevin Esquerra would double home Szamski and the score headed into the bottom of the eighth was 11-5 and that is where the ballgame would stay.
Alex London went six strong innings for the Cannons. Coming in relief was newcomer Trey Alderman who pitched a fantastic 2.1 innings and had 5 strikeouts and closing out the ninth was another newcomer, Zach Burch who threw .2 innings and struck out one Royal hitter.
The final line for the Cannons was 11 runs on 13 hits with 5 errors and the Winchester Royals had 5 runs on 6 hits with 6 errors.
The Cannons continue to top the northern division in the Valley League, currently with a 5-1 record. They return home for a weekend homestand against Woodstock River Bandits on Saturday and the Front Royal Cardinals on Sunday. Both games are at 7 PM, with gates opening up at 5:30 PM.