WOODSTOCK, Va. — Perfection doesn’t visit the Valley Baseball League very often.
Charles Town Cannons’ pitcher Adam Parks (Liberty University) gave the rest of the 12-team circuit something to talk about last Saturday when he fashioned a seven-inning perfect game in a 3-0 win over division-leading Woodstock.
Parks dominated the River Bandits with his 13 strikeouts in the 21 straight outs he achieved. He got eight strikeouts in the eight at-bats taken by the last four batters in the Woodstock lineup.
The loss in the nightcap of a doubleheader was only Woodstock’s fifth of the season. The River Bandits had beaten the Cannons, 8-3, in the seven-inning opener. Charles Town’s loss snapped its five-game win streak, but the Parks’ gem kept the Cannons four games behind the River Bandits and in sole possession of second place in the North Division.
Parks improved his record to 3-1 and his ERA to 1.39.
The one hour and twenty-three minute game saw the Cannons score all the runs they needed in a two-run second.
Tyler Hibbert (Florida International) and Ty Michelotti (Arkansas State) both had two hits as the Cannons had six hits off River Bandits’ pitching.
Michelotti drove in his 12th and 13th runs of the season. Kraig Kelly (Central Arkansas), Luke Stewart (Jacksonville) and Hibbert scored the Cannons’ runs.
Woodstock was able to get a split of the doubleheader when it chased Charles Town starter Mike Estevez (Alabama State) after 3.2 innings. The River Bandits had eight hits and drew five walks in scoring their 8-3 win over the Cannons. The loss snapped Charles Town’s five-game winning streak.
Neither Estevez or Connor McClain (Central Arkansas) fared well with Estevez yielding five hits and three walks and McClain giving up three hits and two walks in his 2.1 innings of relief pitching.
Hibbert was 2-for-5 and Emmanuel Marrero (Alabama State) drove in two runs for the Cannons.
Alex Hackerott (Oklahoma State) was the winning pitcher when the Cannons trimmed Harrisonburg, 3-2, last Tuesday. Hackerott limited the Turks to six hits and two runs in his 6.1 innings against the South Division-leading entry.
Trailing 2-1, the Cannons scored a pair of game-deciding runs in the sixth to knock off the division leaders.
Waldyvan Estrada (Alabama State) drove in two runs, giving him 16 RBIs on the season. Estrada had two of Charles Town’s five hits.
Steve McClellan (Lake Sumter CC) replaced Hackerott with one out in the Woodstock seventh. He was unscored on. McClain relieved McClellan with one out in the eighth and got the last five outs of the game for a save. McClain allowed no hits and one walk while fanning two.
Last Thursday, the Cannons swamped Aldie, 12-1, as starting pitcher Jake Johnson (Neosho County CC) allowed only four hits in seven innings of one-run baseball. Johnson fanned five and did not walk a batter in lowering his ERA to 2.12. Steven Burcham (Florida Southern) went the final two scoreless innings.
The Cannons rattled out 14 hits with Stewart, Shane Ammon (Texas-Pan American), Marrero, Matt Durst (Northeast Texas) and Michelotti all contributing two hits.
Durst had three RBIs giving him 19 on the season and Estrada drove in two runs, giving him 18 RBIs.
On Sunday, the Cannons improved their latest win streak to two games with a 7-0 win over Front Royal.
Hackerott went the first three innings with Logan Boyd (Sam Houston State), McClellan, Burnham and Kyle McKelvey (Liberty) following and completing the shutout of the Cardinals.
The Cardinals had only six hits off the combined efforts of the five Charles Town pitchers.
Hibbert improved his batting average to .368 with a 4-for-5 effort. Durst moved his average to .302 with a 3-for-5 game. Pat Ammar was 2-for-3 and scored twice to boost his average to .278.
Charles Town had won seven of its last eight games and had a 15-11 overall record.
In recent player transactions, the Cannons signed infielder Cody Hoffner (Florida Gulf Coast) and left-hander pitcher Bradley Emery (Daytona State College) while releasing pitcher Logan Traylor (Auburn) and infielder Hayden Cronenbold (Oklahoma State). The Cannons are at home on Saturday to face Waynesboro. There are no league games on July 4. The Valley Baseball League All-Star game will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, in Harrisonburg. No league games are scheduled for July 8 and the season begins again on Tuesday, July 9, with Charles Town at Covington.
South Division-leading Harrisonburg visits Shenandoah Junction on Wednesday, July 10.