The Purcellville Cannons split a 2-game road trip over the weekend, moving their record to 2-5 on the season. Here's how it went down.
Cannons' rally falls short against Strasburg
STRASBURG, VIRGINIA-- The Purcellville Cannons rallied three runs in the top of the ninth inning, but eventually fell one run short, losing to the defending VBL-champion Strasburg Express, 7-6, on Thursday night at First Bank Park.
Purcellville did not go down quietly in their attempt to end a 3-game losing streak. Trailing 7-3 heading into the game's finl frame, pinch-hitter Joe Champi knocked a two-run double to right field and catcher Onassis Matos added an RBI single to center to cut the deficit to one.
With two outs in the ninth and runners on the corners, Strasburg brought in closer Abraham Almonte, who proceeded to strike out Cannons' second baseman Tommy Ziegen on three pitchers to shut the door and give the Express their fifth win of 2016.
Purcellville starter Pat Doudican was looking to rebound from his first outing of the summer when he allowed six runs (two earned) over 2 2/3 innings in a 12-4 loss to the Front Royal Cardinals in the season-opener. The 18-year-old lefty did perform better on the hill, but allowed a 2-run double to Strasburg's designated hitter Dylan Ingram with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to give the Express a 6-2 lead.
Doudican was handed his second loss of the young season, charged for six runs (four earned) over 4 2/3 innings.
A product of the College of Charleston, Doudican ran into trouble against a fellow Charleston Cougar on the opposing lineup, third baseman Bradley Dixon. In his first appearance for the Express this season, Dixon recorded three RBI on run-scoring singles in teh second and fourth inning, respectively. His single in the fourth off Doudican broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Express a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the contest.
Express starter Michael Silva earned his first win of the season in front of the home town fans on Thursday, yielding two runs over five innings of work.
After missing Wednesday's 6-1 loss to Harrisonburg due to turf toe, Cannons' center fielder DeAires Moses returned to action against the Express, reaching base four times on three infield singles and a walk while scoring a pair of runs. Thus far on the season, Moses leads Purcellville with a .450 batting average, nine hits and six runs scored.
Cannons' manager Brett Fuller did get a good performance from his bullpen in the loss. Following Doudican's fifth-inning exit, relivers Andrew Green, Daniel Gooden and Billy Cox combined for 3 2/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball.
The lone run, however, was charged to Gooden in the eighth inning and was unearned as the Express rallied with two outs to score the late insurance run on three walks and a throwing error by Gooden that proved to be the difference in a 7-6 final.
With the Cannons' losing streak now hitting four, they will turn their attention to a second trip to Bing Crosby Stadium to take on the Cardinals.
Front Royal has lost three in a row after starting the season 4-1.
Cannons snap skid in win over Cardinals
FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA-- DiAndre Amion lined a single into left field to score DeAires Moses in the ninth inning on Friday night at Bing Crosby Stadium to help the Purcellville Cannons beat the Front Royal Cardinals, 5-4, and end a 4-game losing streak.
One inning earlier, Raul Cabrera launched the Cannons' first home run of the season to take a 4-3 advantage, but the Cardinals were able to tie the game in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch thrown by Purcellville reliever Will Reed, a run that was charged to Tyler Yancey, who tossed three innings after starter Alex London lasted four innings on the hill.
Purcellville pushed across three unearned runs off Cardinals' starter Kristopher Van Camp in the second inning on a 2-run double by catcher Matt Reed and an RBI single by second baseman Eriq White.
Front Royal responded, though, with three runs (two earned) off London to tie the game after four innings. In two starts this season, London has a 3.00 ERA (three earned over nine innings) and has started on the hill for each of the Cannons' win this season.
Purcellville native Will Reed once again was able to close out a victory for his hometown VBL-representative, striking out Michael Centeno and getting Martin Napelton to ground out with runners on the corners in the ninth to nail down the Cannons' second win of the season, pushing his record to 2-0.
After avenging their previous 12-4 opening-day loss at Front Royal, Purcellville now sits at 2-5 and will return home on Sunday when they host the Winchester Royals.
The Cannons will be without leading hitter DeAires Moses for the remainder of the season. The Volunteer State Community College-proudct was drafted in the 19th round of the MLB draft by the Seatle Mariners on Saturday.