Cannons Looking Good After All-Star Break
By, Matt Davis
STRASBURG, VIRGINIA—A little bit of a scare for the Cannons, in the bottom of the ninth with two on and two out, Strasburg’s Mo Landry lifted a high fly ball to deep center field, but Andrew Zban was there to record the out and secure the 6-4 Purcellville Cannons victory.
The Cannons were held scoreless through the first three innings by Express starter Zach Peek. Alex London held the Express scoreless through the first two innings but gave up a run on a sac fly by Turner Buis.
Hunter Jones relieved Peek in the fourth inning and the first hitter he faced was Shaggy Freeland. Shaggy was still in search of his first hit as a Cannon, but his first hit was a memorable one. He launched a solo homerun to tie the game up at 1.
In the fifth inning, the Cannons’ offense exploded for more runs. After a leadoff popout, Nolan Ritchie walked and then stole second. Gabe Castillo got hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Trevin Esquerra then moved the runners over with a hard-hit ball to the second baseman. With second and third and two outs, Shaggy Freeland came back up looking to bring at least one run home. Instead he brought home three with a monster 3-run homerun to give the Cannons a 4-1 lead. Drew Windham relieved Alex London. London would finish with 4 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Windham was able to shutout the Express to keep the score at 4-1.
The top of the sixth went quick for the Cannons, Jackson Ray relieved Hunter Jones and kept the game at 4-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth. Windham was still on the mound and in his second inning of work. After striking out the first hitter, Windham gave up a one-out walk to Jake Perry. Windham was then able to get Tyler Martin to fly out. With two outs and a runner on first, the inning looked clean. Then Jacob Hirsh took a ball deep over the wall for a 2-run homerun to make the game 4-3. Windham would bounce back to get the next hitter and keep the game at 4-3 in favor of the Cannons.
In the top of the seventh, the Cannons continued to light up the scoreboard. With one out, Gabe Castillo and Trevin Esquerra singled. With runners on first and second, Shaggy Freeland came up, already with two homeruns on the day and looking for a third. Shaggy hit a 2-RBI double in the right field gap to push the lead 6-3. Jackson would walk Zban, but get the next two hitters out.
The score remained 6-3 until the bottom of the ninth. Tom Sutera came in to relieve John Nolan who pitched the seventh and eighth innings, surrendering only 1 hit, 2 walks, but also had 2 strikeouts. In the bottom of the ninth, Sutera gave up back-to-back walks, but would bounce back with a strikeout. With two runners on and one out, Jeffrey Butler, who pinch ran for Jackson Furstace in the fifth, hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and third with two outs. The lineup card turned over to the top of the order where Turner Buis hit an RBI single to make the game 6-4. Sutera managed to get the third out via a long fly ball to Zban in right-center.
This road win makes the Cannons 19-10 on the season and they increase their first place lead to 1.5 games over New Market. The Cannons take on Staunton at home on Thursday at 7PM with gates opening at 5:30 PM.