Losses jeopardize playoffs for Cannons

Consecutive losses on Saturday and Sunday brought Charles Town’s record in the Valley Baseball League back to 17-17 and had the Cannons tied for second place with Aldie, which was 15-15 overall.

Then on Monday, the Cannons’ offense opened up with 18 hits in an 11-1 win on the road against Strasburg. There were eight extra base hits, including homers from Waldyvan Estrada, Matt Durst and Cody Hoffner. Tyler Hibbert, Pat Ammar, Emmanuel Marrero, Kraig Kelly, Hoffner, Estrada and Hibbert all had multi-hit games.

David Rumsey improved his record to 3-0 with his six innings of five-hit pitching.

With Aldie losing on Monday evening, the Cannons took over second place with a one-game lead over the third-place Senators.

The 4-1 loss on the road to Strasburg on Saturday was followed by a 5-4 Sunday home loss in 10 innings to Aldie.

With another loss July 10 to Harrisonburg, the Cannons losing streak had reached three games. The Cannons had a 12-3 win at Covington July 9.

The ever-fluctuating Charles Town roster saw infielder Bryan Dionicio (Franklin Pearce), pitcher Connor Gorman (Potomac State), pitcher Clayton Payne (Daytona State) and outfielder Marc-Richard Culmer added to the team with pitcher Talton Cherry, pitcher Alex Hackerott and outfielder Dillon Cooper given their releases.

In stopping Covington, the Cannons had 16 hits with Durst going 4-for-4, Hibbert was 2-for-4, Estrada went 2-for-4 and L.K. Thompson and Luke Stewart each had two hits. Michael Estevez was the winning pitcher.

On Saturday in the loss at Strasburg, starting pitcher Chris Payne suffered his first loss of the season. Payne pitched into the eighth inning. The Express had only a 2-1 lead entering the inning but a leadoff double, intentional walk and fielders choice had runners on second and third.

Gorman replaced Payne. A sacrifice fly, another intentional walk and second sacrifice fly brought home two more runs that boosted Strasburg’s lead to 4-1.

Payne’s seven-plus innings saw him allow five hits and three earned runs while walking three and fanning three. Gorman’s ERA remained at 0.00.

Hoffner’s solo homer was Charles Town’s only run.

On Sunday, Aldie’s four-run seventh inning overcame a 1-0 Charles Town lead. The Cannons scored the game’s last three runs in regulation, but the Senators shoved across the game-deciding run in the 10th. Tough-luck loser Connor McClain went the last 3.2 innings and yielded only one hit, didn’t walk anybody and struck out six.

Aldie pitching fanned 13 Cannons. Hibbert, Estrada and Durst all had two hits in the third consecutive loss.

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