The Purcellville Cannons dropped their eight consecutive road game when they lost a non-divisonal contest to the Waynesboro Generals, 6-3, on Sunday night at Kate Collins Field.
The Generals did their damage off Cannons’ starter Wade Arduini in the second and fourth inning. After Purcellville took a 1-0 lead on newcomer Tyler Ratliff’s RBI single in the first, Waynesboro tallied three consecutive 2-out, run-scoring base hits off Arduini in the second frame to take a 3-1 lead.
The Cannons made just two errors in the loss to Waynesboro, but the final one proved costly. With two outs in the fourth, the Generals knocked back-to-back singles, which preceeded an errant throw by second baseman Eriq White that pulled first baseman Joe Champi off the bag and allowed Sam Palensky to reach first and load the bases. Originally ruled the final out of the inning, the umpires changed their call after a short conference along the first-base line and allowed the inning to continue.
Generals’ leadoff center fielder Tanner Poole made the Cannons pay, lifting a 2-run double into left center to score Bryant Bowen and Charles Zaloumis to give Waynesboro the lead for good. Palensky would score on a wild pitch one batter later to cap off the Generals’ scoring on the night.
Cannons’ right fielder Ray Hernandez failed to record his foruth consecutive multi-hit game, but did blast his team-leading third home run of the season, dropping a bomb over the left field to leadoff the fourth inning and extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
The home run by Hernandez was the final run charged to Waynesboro starter Adam Tarver, who entered play on Sunday with a sub-par 9.32 ERA, but authored his best performance of the season — 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8K — to pick up his first victory of the year.
Tarver left the game in the 7th after allowing a 2-out double to catcher Jonathan Cline and walking Sage Bruhl, but reliever Tanner Kirby got out of the jam by getting shortstop Raul Cabrera to ground out.
Despite a hitless night, Bruhl drew a pair of walks, brining his season total up to 18, the most in the Valley League through 20 games.
Making his Cannons’ debut, third baseman Tyler Ratliff (Marshall University) was the lone member of the Purcellville lineup with multiple hits, going 2-4 with an RBI and a double.
The Cannons added a run off Kirby in the 8th on an RBI groundout by White that scored DeAndre Amion, but Darren Kelly tossed a scoreless ninth inning to record his first save of the season and nail down Waynesboro’s 13th victory of the summer.
Arduini allowed six runs (three earned) over five innings of work and was handed his second loss of the season.
A Cannons’ bullpen that had struggled recently did perform well in the team’s third loss to Waynesboro this season. Southpaw Mike Tang and right-hander Billy Cox combined for three scoreless innings, yielding just two hits.
With the loss, Purcellville stays glued to the cellar of the VBL North divison, but will return to Fireman’s Field, a venue they are 4-5 at this season, on Monday night when they play host to the visiting Charlottesville Tom Sox (7-12).
The Cannons were shutout in their lone contest with Charlottesville this season, losing 5-0 at home on June 4th.
Purcellville will face the same starter that blanked them in the two team’s first meeting, Matt Olson (University of Richmond), who comes into the matchup with a 1-1 record and a 2.75 ERA.
Brandon Caples gets the nod for the Cannons who hope to end their current 3-game losing streak. Caples (Alabama State University) is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA this season, he was given his second loss of the season in his last outing when he allowed six earned runs over 6 1/3 innings in a 7-5 loss to Harrisonburg Turks last Tuesday.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm.