PURCELLVILLE, VIRGINIA—The Cannons were looking to take at least one game in this weekend homestand. They lost a tough one Saturday night at home against Woodstock, losing 6-2. The Cannons looked to rebound against Front Royal to gain some momentum for Monday’s away game.
Front Royal struck first in the top of the first, getting to Cannon starter Sal Lovaglio. However, after Sal was able to get two straight outs after a leadoff single. Unfortunately, a looping single from Dominic Canzone would score Blake Thomas. Heading into the bottom of the first, the Cannons would be down 1-0.
The Cannons brought consistency back to this game early, Tyler Ratliff and Trevin Esquerra singled and then with two outs, Valley League Player of the Week, Andrew Zban hit a solid single in between the first and second baseman driving in two Cannons to take the lead 2-1.
Lovaglio came back in the second inning more relaxed and retired the Front Royal Cardinals quickly only surrendering one single. The Cannons would also go down quickly, but they would go in order 1, 2, 3.
The Cannons continued with great pitching and defense in the third as the first two Cardinal hitters were retired. Lovaglio gave up a two-out double but managed to bounce back to get a fly out to end the Cardinal half of the third inning. Tyler Ratliff led off the Cannon half of the third inning with a single. However, he would be gunned down trying to steal by Front Royal catcher, Michael Petrie. The next two Cannon hitters, Sheldon Reed and Trevin Esquerra were retired and the Cannons went down 1, 2 ,3 again.
Lovaglio would come out for the fourth inning, but defensive errors would continue to be the Achilles heel for the Cannons. The Cannons committed two errors that led to 2 runs scoring flipping the score in the favor of the Cardinals 3-2. Lovaglio would get out of the fourth inning with the Cannons only trailing by one.
The Cannons couldn’t get anything started in the fourth. However, things got a little chirpy as left hander Ryan Ruggles threw a pitch behind Andrew Zban’s head and Zban had a few words for Ruggles. The first baseman, second baseman and shortstop started to creep in slowly, anticipating some sort of trouble, but the only way to respond was by doing it on the scoreboard. Andrew Zban’s response was a solid line drive single to right field, which would go down as a win for Zban. The Cannons would end the fourth with singles from Zban and Trey McDyre but no scoring would come from it.
In the fifth, Sal Lovaglio would walk the leadoff man, but managed to get the next hitter to fly out to right fielder Ray Hernandez. Unfortunately, Lovaglio’s control started to disappear as he would walk the bases loaded. The Cannons would turn to the bullpen and Trey Alderman would come in with one out in the fifth. He would strike out the first hitter he faced, but gave up a 2 RBI single and the lead for the Cardinals increased to 5-2. Both of those runs would be charged to Lovaglio.
The Cannons responded in the bottom of the fifth, Nolan Ritchie led off the fifth with a single and then stole second. He would score on a Sheldon Reed single with one out to left field. Trevin Esquerra and Ray Hernandez were then retired in order to end the fifth. The Cannons managed to get one back only trailing 5-3.
The sixth inning ended in shutouts for both teams. Heading in to the seventh the game was still in favor of the Front Royal Cardinals, 5-3 over the Purcellville Cannons. However, Firemen’s Field ran into technical issues with the lights and play was suspended to try to fix them. The night grew darker and the lights were not able to be fixed. The game would stay suspended in the seventh inning and scheduled to resume play the next time the Cardinals and Cannons play, which is on July 21st at Front Royal.
The Cannons are on the road tomorrow at Waynesboro. First pitch is at 7 PM, as the Cannons look to put another road game in the win column and string together some more wins.
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