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Up and down start to season for Cougar spring squads

Baseball, softball and the new boys volleyball team at Escalon High School have had some success in the early going, but also are experiencing some growing pains.

“We currently have three players that are hurt and two that became ineligible,” explained varsity baseball head coach Gino Franceschetti “So there’s a lot of guys playing out of position. With all that going on I was very pleased with this past week. We played some good teams and we competed with them.”

Wins have been hard to come by, though, and Franceschetti said that might actually benefit the team as they start Trans-Valley League action.

“I think the TVL teams will look at our record and think we are a bad team but the boys are still motivated and they are starting to play well,” the coach said. “I believe we can surprise some people as league play begins.”

They will play Livingston this week to open the TVL schedule and then play in a showcase game at John Thurman Field, home of the Modesto Nuts, on Saturday, March 16 against Linden.

For the softball girls, the varsity currently stands at 2-3 with their victories coming against Buhach and Turlock.

“We have four returning starters and pulled up three freshmen that are going to make an impact for us this season,” said coach Caitlin Brooks.

The JV team stands at 1-4.

The girls will host Summerville at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 14.

The volleyball boys have eight players on varsity, eight players on JV; the JV boys are 2-2 so far with wins over Orestimba and Waterford, losses to Turlock and Gregori.

The varsity is 2-3 so far in the preseason with another tough week ahead, said head coach Shay Beam.

“We lost to Turlock in a tough game to four in our first match,” Beam said of the varsity boys. “We then traveled to Gregori and lost in four to a very good Gregori team.”

They notched their first win on Tuesday, March 5 against Denair, winning 3-1, then lost to Orestimba in three on Wednesday before battling back for a five-set win, 3-2, against Waterford on Friday, March 8.

The boys host games on Wednesday, March 13 against Sierra and on Thursday, March 14 against Ripon Christian. League play begins Thursday, March 21 against Hilmar on the road.