By Matt Davis
As the Purcellville Cannons prep for their second season in Purcellville, their first test were the Loudoun Riverdogs of the Ripken League.
“We’re excited to play them, and look forward to seeing what we can work out with them in the future,” manager Brett Fuller said before the game
“We’re going to treat this as an all-star game, try to work in as many guys as we can,” manager Brett Fuller said before the game. Fuller held true to his word having eight pitchers over nine full innings and yes they showed why they’re here. The staff threw a combined shutout and struck out nine Riverdog hitters.
The Cannons were in control since the first pitch. After Shippensburg’s senior right handed pitcher Andy Crum worked a perfect first inning, the bats of the Cannons immediately went to work. Shortstop Nolan Ritchie led off the game with a single. After an error on the centerfielder, which allowed Raul Cabrera to reach first. With two outs, first baseman Kyle Ouellete hit a solid line drive for a two RBI single. Next, hometown hero Trey McDyre of Liberty University drove a hard single and that gave the Cannons more life with two outs and two men on base. After Payton Marshall worked a walk to load the bases, center fielder Andew Zban hit a two RBI single to make it 4-0 Cannons after the first inning.
In the second inning, Tom Sutera relieved Andy Crum after a perfect first inning and followed suit with another perfect inning. Sutera tallied two strikeouts in the meat of the Riverdogs lineup and got designated hitter Samuel Ewald to ground out to the third baseman.
In the home half of the second, Nolan Ritchie led off by reaching base on an error by the Riverdogs third baseman and allowed Ritchie to get to second. Raul Cabrera was able to move Ritchie over to third with a long fly ball out to right field. 2 batters later, Sheldon Reed drove in Ritchie from third with an RBI double.
It was smooth sailing for the Cannons pitching staff through this game, perfect through 3 innings and only allowed three total hits. Manager Brett Fuller used eight pitchers Andy Crum, Tom Sutera, Salvatore Lovaglio, Tanner Skidmore, Parker Dyson, Sean Gabel, Jase Carvell, and Mike Taylor. The staff threw a combined shutout, had nine strikeouts, two pickoffs, and one double play.
In the middle innings is where the defense around the pitchers started to look more like an all-star game. Players were coming in and moving around. Andru Summerall, Onassis Matos, Mitchell Painter, and Langston Watkins all entered the game and played the second half of the game. Summerall battled hard in his first at-bat and worked walk. Matos went 1-for-3 with a single. Painter went 1-for-3 with a single and an RBI on a sac fly. Langston Watkins went 0-for-2 but managed to score one run and get a stolen base in the eighth inning.
Manager Brett Fuller should be pleased with the way the Cannons played this game. It was a very clean and competitive game. The Cannons season opener is on the road against the New Market Rebels at Rebels Park, first pitch will be at 7:30 PM ET.