By Shelby Dermer
After a thrilling one-run win over New Market in their home-opener at Fireman’s Field on Friday, the Purcellville Cannons stayed at their home venue on Saturday to play host to the Charlottesville Tom Sox.
Friday’s win over the Rebels may have been a 13-run, back-and-forth battle, but Saturday’s contest with the Tom Sox was a pure pitchers’ duel throughout most of the game.
Charlottesville broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning off Cannons’ relievers Malik Jones and Matt Kaster, with the biggest knock coming on a 2-run, 2-out double by first baseman Brian Fortier to right field to put the Tom Sox on the board. An error by Kaster one batter later allowed a third run to score one batter later.
Cannons’ final reliever Andrew Green, a product of the University of Maryland, didn’t fare too well either, allowing two insurance runs to the Tom Sox in the top frame of the ninth to make the score 5-0, a score that would stand as the final.
Purcellville starting pitcher Zach Sloan made his summer debut and was very impressive on the mound. The Canisius College-product tossed six shutout innings, yielding just three hits and three walks while striking out four, earning a no-decision.
Charlottesville starter Matt Olson was superb on the mound, too, throwing seven scoreless frames and issuing 10 groundball outs in route to his first win of the season.
In a relatively quiet night at the plate, Purcellville tallied just five hits. Two of them coming from centerfielder DeAires Moses, who now has five hits in the last two games combined.
After being shutout by the Tom Sox and dropping their record to 1-2 on the young season, Purcellville will take to the road for a Sunday matchup at Casey Field against the Covington Lumberjacks, who surprisingly have not been able to kick off their 2016 season yet due to weather.
[Shelby Dermer is an intern for the Purcellville Canons.]