WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA-- With two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning in a matchup between the Purcellville Cannons and Winchester Royals on Friday night at Jim Barnett Park, the skies opened up and unleashed a heavy downpour of rain that concluded the game a few innings early. 15 minutes before the rain, Wichester tallied 8 runs to break a 4-4 tie and take a 12-4 lead, a score that would stand as the final as home plate umpire Greg Howard waved off the contest at 9:43 pm.
Purcellville had battled back in the game, overcoming a pair of 2-run deficits. Winchester struck first with a pair of runs off Cannons' starter Matt Copley in the game's opening inning on RBI knocks by Trevor Jensen and Peter Rivera.
Jenson would add a 2-run single in the bottom of the sixth to break the 4-4 tie and start the 8-inning rally for the Royals off Purcellville reliever Andrew Green, who allowed four runs in just 1/3 of an inning, resulting in his first loss of the season.
Copley tossed five innings and left facing a 4-2 deficit, but the Cannons tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth to give him a no-decision and keep him from being tagged with his second loss in as many starts.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the 6th, Wade Arduini's ground out scored Raul Cabrera and Andrew Zban came around to score one batter later on a passed ball to tie the game at four.
Leading the Purcellville offense was right fielder Ray Hernandez, who had his second straight 3-hit night. After extending his hitting streak to 12 games with a base hit in the first inning, Hernandez hit a towering, no-doubt solo home run in the third off Royals' starter John Barr to put the Cannons on the board. Hernandez added an RBI signgle to score DeAndre Amion in the fifth for his 9th RBI of the season. Hernandez also had his first outfield assist of the season, firing a strike from shallow right field to Sage Bruhl that nailed Rivera at third base to end the first inning.
Barr, a product of South Alabama, was aiming for his third straight quality start when he took the mound in the 6th inning, but allowed two earned runs which ended his night after 5 2/3. Reliever Christopher Hopkins came in and retired the lone batter he faced to end the 6th, and was ultimatley given his third win of the season after Winchester tagged Green and Billy Cox for eight runs in the bottom half of the frame.
The loss continued the road woes for the Cannons this season, dropping their record to 1-8 in games away from Fireman's Field.
Having lost six consecutive away affairs, Purcellville will look to snap that skid when they pay a visit to Rebels Park on Saturday to take on New Market. In their first away game against the Rebels earlier this month, the Cannons allowed a season-high 13 runs in a 7-run defeat.
Left-hander Alex London gets the start for the Cannons. The Mississippi State product is 0-1 with a 5.26 ERA in three starts this year, losing his last outing to the Waynesboro Generals on June 17th. London was the Cannons' starter in the team's lone road win of the season, tossing four innings of 2-run ball in a 5-4 victory at Bing Crosby Stadium over the Front Royal Cardinals on June 10th.
London will be countered by Rebels' right-hander Justin Crump, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts this season. Crump allowed four earned over five innings of work in his last start and earned a no-decision in a 9-8 loss to the Staunton Braves on June 18th.
First pitch is set for 7:30 pm.