By, Matt Davis, Purcellville Cannons
The Front Royal Cardinals (15-17; 4th in the North division), took on the Purcellville Cannons (22-10; 1st in the North division) on Saturday with a plan to stop the Cannons’ winning ways. Purcellville was looking for their seventh win in-a-row. While on the other side, the Cardinals were trying to turn things around as they have only three wins in their last 10 games. The Cannons came out victorious 7-3 when Onassis Matos hit a two-RBI single late in the seventh inning off of Cardinals reliever, Micahel Dunlap.
Front Royal jumped out to an early lead on newcomer, Andrue Hughart, who has just one appearance out of the bullpen this season. Dylan Hardy led off the Cardinals half of the first with a single. With one out, Connor Pohl singled, which allowed Hardy to reach third. During Jared McDonald’s at-bat, Pohl stole second and on the throw, Hardy advanced home to score and make it 1-0. Jared McDonald would double and score Pohl from second to make the score 2-0, Cardinals.
The Cannons kept battling and tied the game up in the fourth. With one out, Trey McDyre worked a walk and stole second during Andrew Zban’s at-bat. McDyre would advance again on a wild pitch to third and end up scoring later in Zban’s at-bat on another wild pitch. At the end of four innings, the game was tied at two.
Both pitching staffs shut each other down from the fifth on, but the Cannons made some noise in the seventh. After back-to-back singles for Nolan Ritchie and Gabriel Castillo, Shaggy Freeland was robbed by the pitcher as he grounded out to him. Onassis again came up big hitting a two-RBI single to score both Ritchie and Castillo to make the game 4-2, Cannons. After a walk to Raul Cabrera, the Cardinals went to the bullpen but it didn’t help. After a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with one out, Trey McDyre hit a sac fly to make the score 5-2.
The Cardinals managed to get a run back in the eighth to make it 5-3. In the ninth, the Cannons would answer to the Cardinals one run in the bottom of the eighth. Castillo worked a leadoff walk and Shaggy barley missed a dead-center homerun but it was just a long fly out. With one out, Onassis doubled to score Castillo, but two errors, both on the Cardinals shortstop occurred, and those allowed Onassis to score and make the game 7-3, Cannons.
The Cannons are now 22-10 on the season and ahead of second place New Market in the North division standings by 3.5 games. After six games in-a-row, the Cannons have two days off before returning to Fireman’s field on Tuesday for a matchup against New Market.