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Cougars Having Fruitful Summer On Baseball Circuit
Summer baseball is a time for developing talent and honing skills as players compete in tournaments around the area. Starting on June 17, Escalon hosted the annual Bob Loureiro Tournament, which provided coach Greg Largent with another opportunity to teach his players some of the finer points of Cougar baseball.

"It's a great transition for some of our younger players, those making the transition from JV to varsity," Largent said.

Escalon beat Modesto 7-0; East Union 8-0; and Enochs 12-2. The Cougars dropped a close 9-8 game to Linden. Bear Creek of Stockton won the tournament title.

Largent said the structure of summer baseball as an instructional league provides the Escalon coaching staff with opportunities they do not have during the regular season. Rules provide for free substitution, allowing Largent to get his players plenty of cuts at the plate as well as in-depth coaching.

"We can pull a player out for a half inning and talk to him. It's instant coaching," Largent noted.

Largent also pointed to the play of Escalon's Matt Hudson, who will be a senior when school starts in the fall. Hudson, who played mostly in a reserve role for this past season's Trans-Valley League champs, has had an outstanding summer, according to Largent.

"He's just really crushing the ball right now," Largent said.

Escalon wraps up the final week of summer ball with the Lee Hampson Tournament in Oakdale beginning Wednesday, June 24 at Oakdale High School. The Cougars open with a doubleheader that day, with Oakdale at 9 a.m., and Modesto at 11 a.m. They will face Turlock on Thursday, June 25 at 9 a.m., and will wrap up on Saturday against an opponent yet to be determined.