Cannons Start Off the Second Half of the Season on the Right Foot
By, Matt Davis
PURCELLVILLE-VIRGINIA—Fresh off the All-Star game the Cannons traveled to Front Royal to take on the Cardinals and notch their 18th win of the season. The Cardinals, were looking to bounce back after a loss to Strasburg on Monday and get their 15th win of the season.
The Cardinals would send left-hander Will Heflin to the mound. Heflin worked a scoreless first and the Cardinals came up looking to avenge their last home loss against the Cannons. After a leadoff single from Dominic Canzone, Cannons starter Kyle Morton bounced back to record two straight outs. That brought up lefty designated hitter and 2017 Valley League All-Star, Luc Lipcius. Luc worked the count to 1-1 and then launched a fastball over the wall for a 2-run homerun to give the Cardinals the lead, 2-0. In the top of the second, the Cannons were trying to fight back and lower the deficit early. Payton Marshall reached on a throwing error from shortstop Trevor Rosenberg. Onassis Matos singled to put runners on first and third with no outs. During Andrew Zban’s at-bat, catcher Kenny Bergman tried to pickoff Marshall at second and threw the ball away, allowing Marshall to advance to third. Onassis then stole second to put runners on second and third. Zban came up empty in his at-bat, but with one out Trey McDyre came to the plate. Trey was patient, on a 2-1 pitch he drove a long fly ball deep over the left field wall for a 3-run homerun to give the Cannons the lead 3-2. The top of the second would end 2 batters later and Kyle Morton shutout the Cardinals in the bottom of the second. Cannons led 3-2 heading to the top of the third.
Heflin shutout the Cannons in the top of the third. The Cardinals looked to keep the game close at 3-2 and preferably take the lead in the bottom of the third. Their bats answered the call, as they put 2 on the scoreboard to take the lead 4-3. With one out, Connor Pohl walked, but Morton would bounce back to record another out. With 2 outs and a runner on first, Jared McDonald came to the plate and got his pitch on an 0-1 count and drove one deep over the left field wall for a 2-run homerun. The Cardinals continued their power stoke from their game against Strasburg on Monday. The Cardinals would shut out the Cannons until the eighth inning, but they would continue to build their lead.
In the fourth, they added one after Jordan Greene reached on an error, two batters later, Dominic Canzone would single to put runners on first and second with one out. Dylan Hardy would ground into a fielder’s choice putting runners on first and third with two outs. Brett Fuller would go to his bullpen and bring in left-hander Ryne Huggins, making his first appearance with the Cannons. Connor Pohl came up big and singled off of Huggins to bring in Greene, however the run would be unearned. That would make the score 5-2 Cardinals and the score would stay 5-2 until the eighth.
In the eighth, the Cardinals stayed with Nickolas Ortega, who came in the game, in the sixth inning to relieve Will Heflin. Ortega shut down the Cannons in the sixth and seventh innings. The Cannons were looking to continue their magic of winning games late that they had in the first half of the season. After striking out the first hitter of the eighth, Ortega gave up a double to Trevin Esquerra and walked Andy Szamski. That would be it for Ortega, as Joshua Andrews relieved him after 2.1 innings pitched. Andrews’ control was shaky as he threw one pitch to Payton Marshall that went as a passed ball, allowing Esquerra to move to third and Szamski to second. Another passed ball would allow Esquerra to score . Marshall worked a walk. During Onassis Matos’s at-bat the Cannons drew up a double steal and both Szamski and Marshall were safe. The Cardinals’ defense didn’t bail out Andrews in his time of need after walking Andrew Zban to load the bases, Trey McDyre hit a little popup to Jordan Greene at second. Greene dropped the ball and tried to rush the throw to first to get McDyre, but he threw it away allowing Szamski and Marshall to score to make it 6-5. Andrew Zban would advance to second on the throwing error. Nolan Ritchie then came up and delivered an insurance dagger to the Cardinals as he singled to left field, bringing in Zban from second to push the lead 7-5, Cannons.
Parker Dyson came back out for the ninth inning, which was his third inning of work and he didn’t lose any steam. Dyson worked through the Cardinals with ease, inducing two flyouts, a walk and a popout. The Cannons came back and held on 7-5 for their 18th win of the season.
The Cannons used four pitchers, Kyle Morton, Ryne Huggins (first appearance), Andrue Hughart (first appearance), and Parker Dyson. Parker came away with the win, which is his first of the season. The Cannons continue their roadtrip to start the second half of the season with a game at Strasburg on Wednesday at 7 PM. They return home Thursday and Friday against Staunton and Woodstock.