Cannons crush River Bandits, 15-4

 WOODSTOCK, VIRGINIA-- Catcher Onassis Matos lifted a grand slam to straight-away center field in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday night to cap off a 15-4 Purcellville Cannons' (7-15) victory over the Woodstock River Bandits (6-14). 

After three scoreless innings to begin the game, the Cannons pushed across four runs off starter Zachary Perkins on two wild pitches, an error and an RBI single by Matos, who tallied a team-high 5 RBI in the win to go along with his first home run of the season. 

The Cannons played add-on over the next three innings on RBI singles by shortstop Colton Lightner, designated hitter DeAndre Amion and second baseman Sage Bruhl, but the biggest blast was left fielder Andrew Zban's 2-run triple in the 7th inning. The first triple by a Cannon this season helped Purcellville take a 10-0 lead after seven innings. 

Right fielder Ray Hernandez came around to score after his 4th-inning double and 5th-inning single, a 2-6 night at the plate extended his hitting streak to 16 games. 

After Brandon Caples tossed a complete game on Monday, left-hander Zach Sloan followed with his best performance on the mound this season, too. Coming in at 0-1 with an ERA above four on the season, Sloan was lights out on the mound against the River Bandits, tossing seven shutout innings while yielding just four hits, allowing no walks and striking out five to earn his first victory of the summer. 

Following Sloan's exit, Woodstock was able to put some runs on the board to avoid being shutout for the second time this season. In the 8th inning, Woodstock batted around their order, scoring four runs on five walks, a base hit and a hit batsman. All four runs were charged to Maryland University product Andrew Green, but Daniel Gooden was able to come in and limit the damage by striking out the side. 

RHP Tyler Yancey was able to throw a final scoreless frame in the ninth to finish the contest and end Purcellville's 8-game road losing streak. 

The 15 runs scored by the Cannons was a season-high, and the most they've tallied in a single game since a 16-run performance in a win at Winchester on June 7th of last season. 

Centerfielder Jarrett Clymer was the lone member of the Cannon lineup not to record a hit, but did reach base three times, scored a run in the 9th inning, laid down a sacrifice bunt in the sixth and made a running catch at the wall to end the 7th which finished Sloan's shutout. 

The Cannons will now attempt to extend their winning streak to a season-best 3 games when they host the Staunton Braves on Wednesday night at Fireman's Field. Left-hander Pat Doudican gets the start, he is 1-3 in four appearances this season with a 2.94 ERA. Doudican's last outing was a near mimic of Sloan's on Tuesday, a 7-inning shutout slate at home over Woodstock on June 22nd, a 6-1 Cannons' victory. 

Right-hander Eric Harp goes for the Braves, who are currently stuck in the cellar of the VBL South division. Harp, a product of Longwood University, is 0-3 in three starts this season with a 4.97 ERA. 

If there were ever a time for the Cannons to make up ground in the North division and get back in the playoff race, the next 11 days of action is it. Leading up to the All-Star break, Purcellville will play just one team with a current mark above .500 (Front Royal), with their five opponents combining for 41 wins and 57 losses.

First pitch at Fireman's Field on Wednesday is scheduled for 7 pm.

The Cannons have won 4 of their last 6 games at home. 


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