Lead fades, Cannons rally to tame Express

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — After riding Chris Payne’s shutout pitching for five innings last Wednesday, the rejuvenated Charles Town Cannons refused to be sidetracked when Strasburg erased a three-run deficit in the sixth.

[cleeng_content id="744417805" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]Payne left with a three-run lead, but the Express got back even in the sixth against Cannons’ replacement left-hander, Ryan Morse. Morse couldn’t retire anybody, quickly giving way to David Rumsey.

Hayden Cronenbold takes his cuts.

Hayden Cronenbold takes his cuts.

After Rumsey did enough to get out of the fifth with the game even at 3-3, the Cannons rallied for three more runs in the seventh to get a 6-3 win that brought their overall record to 10-10 and moved them into second place in the North Division.

Walks, wild pitches and L.K. Thompson’s RBI single were the ingredients the Cannons used to piece together a three-run seventh.

The definitive inning was fueled by the consecutive walks to Tyler Hibbert and Ty Michelotti to give the Cannons two runners aboard with nobody out.

After a strikeout, Matt Durst waited patiently as a wild pitch scored Hibbert and a second wild pitch plated Michelotti.

The Cannons had a 5-3 lead by taking advantage of walks and by scoring on the additional wildness of the Express pitchers.

After Waldyvan Estrada drew still another walk, he stole second and rode home on Thompson’s hit. Thompson moved to second when Dillon Cooper was passed. However, Thompson was thrown out at the plate on Brent Williams’ single to left.

Rumsey continued to master the Strasburg lineup. When he left after the eighth, the Sam Houston State product showed a pitching line that included three scoreless innings. He allowed only one hit while fanning one.

Kyle McKelvey replaced Rumsey and got credit for a save when he fanned two in a scoreless ninth.

Chris Payne went five scoreless innings against Strasburg.

Chris Payne went five scoreless innings against Strasburg.

In giving Payne a 3-0 lead, the Cannons had Hibbert, Cooper and Williams score the early runs. Michelotti stole two bases, bringing his total to 11 in only 20 games.

Payne was touched for only four hits and allowed one walk. He fanned five in, lowering his ERA to 0.84 — the second-best figure in the 12-team league.

The victory was in the middle of what would grow to be a five-game win streak when the Cannons stopped Aldie and Front Royal on Thursday and Friday to gradually move away from every team in their division except front-running Woodstock.

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