By: Shelby Dermer (Cannons' broadcaster and beat writer)
STAUNTON, VIRGINIA-- For the second time in an 8-day span, the Purcellville Cannons dropped a rain-shortened game, falling to the Staunton Braves in eight innings, 7-3, at Gypsy Hill Park on Saturday night.
Keegan Maronpot broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run off Purcellville reliever Mike Tang in the third inning to give Staunton a one-run lead and the Cannons were not able to recover.
Staunton added two runs in the fourth off Tang on a sac fly by catcher Marcus Rodriguez and a throwing error by Eriq White to take a 6-3 lead, then capped off the game's scoring on an RBI double by Adam Sisk in the sixth inning off Cannons' reliever Andrew Green.
The Braves scored three times in the bottom of the first on two home runs off Purcellville starter Carter Bair, who has now allowed nine earned runs in two starts this season. However, the Cannons responded with three of their own in the top half of the second. Designated hitter PJ Harris knocked his first home run of the season to put Purcellville on the board and RBI hits by Marshall University-products Andrew Zban and Matt Reed in the same frame tied the game at three.
Brandon Gochenour was the only reliever Staunton would need after starter Parker Johnson lasted just three innings. Gochenour allowed just one hit (a leadoff double to Ray Hernandez in the sixth) over four innings to pick up his first victory of the summer.
In the loss, Cannons' releiver Matt Kaster retained his perfect ERA on the season, tossing a scoreless eighth inning.
Thankfully for the Cannons (8-17), New Market lost on Saturday night, too, keeping Purcellville within one game of the Rebels for the final playoff spot in the VBL North division.
Purcellville returns home on Sunday night to host the Front Royal Cardinals (13-11). The Cannons are 1-2 against the Cardinals this season.