HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA-- The Purcellville Cannons dropped to 4-12 on the season and extended their losing streak to six games with a 7-5 loss to the Harrisonburg Turks on Tuesday night at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Eriq White hit his second solo home run of the game in the top of the 7th inning to put the Cannons in front 4-3, but Harrisonburg rallied with 4 runs in the bottom part of the frame to take a commanding 7-4 lead into the later innings.
Cannons' starter Brandon Caples was looking to feed off his 8-inning win over Strasburg in his last start, but began the game by allowing 3 runs in the first inning on an error in the outfield and a 2-run home run by Greg Popatak. It was Popatak's third long ball of the season, second off Caples.
Caples was able to settle down after the first inning, though, retiring 15 of the 17 batters he faced from innings 2 through 6. He then ran into trouble with a one-run lead in the 7th as Harrisonburg tied the game on an RBI single by Jake Kusz. Caples left the game with two runners on base in the frame, they would both score when Turks' shortstop Tripp Shelton doubled them home off reliever Andrew Green to take a 6-4 lead.
Trevor Craport added an RBI walk in the inning (a run charged to Green) to put Harrisonburg up, 7-4.
White came in to score on an RBI single by DeAndre Amion in the ninth to cut the Turks' lead to two, but the Cannons left the tying runs on base in the ninth as Onassis Matos just missed a go-ahead, 3-run home run by a few feet when he flew out to the warning track in right field for the second out of the inning. Tommy Ziegen would follow with a strikeout and the Cannons dropped to 4-12 on the year and 0-2 against Harrisonburg.
Despite the loss, Purcellville's bats did come out on Tuesday, tallying a season-high 14 hits. White opened the Cannons' scoring with his first home run-- a solo shot off Turks' starter Donte Lindsay in the third inning to make the score 3-1.
Shortstop Colton Lightner would tie the game with a 2-run homer off Lindsay in the fourth (his first hit of the season).
Lindsay, a 2015 member of the Charles Town Cannons, allowed 13 hits over seven innings of work and left facing a one-run deficit, but the Turks' 4-run explosion in the bottom of the 7th allowed him to pick up his first win of the season.
Caples was given his second loss of the year, allowing six runs (all earned) over 6 1/3 innings to push his record to 1-2 on the season. Both losses have come against the Turks.
Harrisonburg reliever Eric Yankey allowed one run on one hit in the final two innings to pick up his second save of 2016.
Third baseman Sage Bruhl recorded his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. The Stetson University product has seen his batting average shoot up 117 points in the last week (.118 to .235) with at least one hit in five of the last six games.
Playing in the outfield for the first time this season, Ray Hernandez shook off an early error to make a leaping catch to end the fourth inning. At the plate, Hernandez singled with two outs in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to an even 10 games.
Left fielder Tommy Ziegen was 2-5 in the loss with a double. In the last four games, the Suny Old Westbury product has six hits in 16 at bats and leads Purcellville with a .273 batting average.
Sitting 2 games back of the New Market Rebels for the final playoff spot in the VBL North, the Cannons will return home on Wednesday in an attempt to end their current 6-game losing streak when they face the Woodstock River Bandits (5-10), who ended their 4-game losing skid with a 5-3 win over Winchester on Monday.
Woodstock probable Brandon Hester (Erskine College) is 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA this season. In his last start, Hester allowed five earned runs over two innings in an 11-7 loss to Harrisonburg on June 15th.
Left-hander Pat Doudican (College of Charleston) gets the nod for the Cannons on Wednesday. Doudican is 0-3 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts this season. In his last start on June 15th, Doudican allowed five runs (all unearned) over four innings of work in a 13-6 loss to New Market. Of the 17 runs allowed by Doudican in three appearances this season, only six have been earned.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 o'clock.
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