By, Matt Davis, Purcellville Cannons
COVINGTON, VIRGINIA—The Cannons were on the road again Thursday night, looking to make it four straight. They took a three-game winning streak to Covington to take on the Lumberjacks for the second time this season and second time at Covington. The last time the teams met, the Lumberjacks were in control from the beginning and won the game 10-2.
The Cannons were looking to get out in front early, but were unable to get anything going in the first, as they were sent down in order 1, 2, 3. Colin Reid was tasked with starting on the mound for the Cannons, but ran into some early trouble as he allowed three runs in the bottom of the first. Reid managed to get the first batter out, but gave up back-to-back singles, a two-RBI triple and another RBI single to make the score 3-0 at the end of one complete inning.
The second inning did not go much better for the Cannon offense as they were sent down again without a threat, but managed to get a runner on via a two-out walk, but nothing came of that and the score remained 3-0. Colin Reid managed to bounce back in the second inning, allowing only one hit and getting two strikeouts.
In the third, the Cannons would cut in to the deficit a little to make the score 3-1. Brenton Sanders led off with a deep fly out to left field. Nolan Ritchie then worked a one-out walk and stole second base. Payton Marshall worked a walk to put runners on first and second with only one out. Hot-hitting Trevin Esquerra came to the plate looking to do some damage and continue his hitting streak. Esquerra hit a hard groundball to the shortstop who was able to flip to second to get Marshall, but couldn’t get the back end at first. Lumberjack second baseman Ty Painter, threw the ball away and that allowed Nolan Ritchie to score. The Cannons would shutout the Lumberjacks until the eighth, but kept digging into that deficit throughout the game. Colin Reid’s day would finish at three innings. He gave up 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks and had 4 strikeouts. Dominic Diaz came in relief and made his debut. He pitched 3 innings, gave up only one hit, walked one, and struck out one hitter.
The fifth is where the Cannons would score run number two. Brenton ‘Colonel’ Sanders led off the fifth with a solid single and Nolan Ritchie sacrificed him over to second. Payton Marshall flew out, but that would bring up Trevin Esquerra. Esquerra doubled and Sanders would score from second to cut the lead to 3-2 and push Esquerra’s hitting streak to 12 games. The scoring would stop there and the fifth inning would end with the Lumberjacks still ahead of the Cannons 3-2. Both teams would shut each other out in the sixth, but the Cannons continued to chip away in the seventh.
The seventh was a hot inning for the Cannons as Kyle Ouellette, Brenton ‘Colonel’ Sanders, and Nolan Ritchie started the inning with three singles in-a-row. Payton Marshall brought home Ouellette from third with a deep sac fly. The Cannons couldn’t capitalize any further and left two runners on but the game was tied 3-3.
Tom Sutera came in to relieve Diaz in the seventh inning. Sutera pitched a scoreless seventh, but the Lumberjacks got to him in the eighth, causing Sutera to give up only his second earned run this season. Tom got the leadoff hitter to groundout to Nolan Ritchie at second to start the bottom of the eighth. Sutera then surrendered three singles in a row, with the last single being an RBI single to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Lumberjacks. The eighth inning would end with the Cannons trailing by one and looking for some late game magic.
Kyle Ouellette started the ninth inning with a single. Brenton Sanders followed with a walk and Nolan Ritchie singled to load the bases with no outs. Payton Marshall then battled long and hard to work an RBI walk and tie the game at 4. The Cannons still had the bases loaded and a great opportunity to really let the game get out of hand, but they couldn’t capitalize and we headed to extras in Covington.
Dalton Whitaker came in to relieve Tom Sutera. Sutera’s day finished with two innings pitched, 3 hits allowed, 1 earned run, no walks and no strikeouts. Whitaker pitched 2.2 innings, no hits, runs or walks allowed, and he struck out two hitters. The 10th and 11th were scoreless for both teams. Hunter Peck came on to get the last out in the eleventh for the Cannons and threw a three-pitch strikeout.
In the 12th inning, Sheldon Reed led off with a first pitch moon shot to deep right center field. That was Reed’s second home run of the season, both coming on the road and in the ninth inning or later. This gave the Cannons a 5-4 lead and that is where the scoring would stay. Trey Alderman would come on for the bottom of the 12th and got the save. Hunter Peck was credited for the win.
The Cannons have a new season-high win streak, 4. They avenge their 10-2 loss at Covington from earlier this season and also capture their seventh road win of the season. Friday, the Cannons faceoff in an interdivision matchup of first place teams. In one corner, the Purcellville Cannons from the North Division and in the other corner, the Charlottesville TomSox. First pitch is at 7 PM and gates to Fireman’s Field open at 5:30.