Under first year varsity head coach Gino Franceschetti, the Escalon varsity baseball boys won their final two games of the league campaign to get to the playoffs.
They faced off twice with Modesto Christian, on May 2 and May 4, winning both contests. That qualified them for the Sac-Joaquin Section baseball postseason and they are to face Bradshaw Christian of Sacramento on Wednesday, May 10.
In the TVL games, the Cougars hosted the Tuesday, May 2 game.
“We were battling the rain all game,” Franceschetti said. “We got out to a 3-1 lead, then the rain started to come down and our pitchers had a hard time gripping the ball. We gave up some walks and they got a couple hits and scored five in the fifth.”
The Cougars, however were able to get some walks as well and put together some hits, scoring eight runs of their own in that fifth frame.
The final score was 13-5 in Escalon’s favor.
On Thursday, it was a different story.
“Greg Adams threw a perfect game so that was really fun to watch,” Franceschetti explained.
Adams faced 15 hitters and struck out eight, with 15 up and 15 down for the Crusaders in the run-shortened game.
“Austin Ewing had really good at bats, going 2-for-3 with a double and a hit by pitch,” Franceschetti said.
The final was a lopsided 13-0 decision for Escalon.
“It felt like everyone on the team got a hit,” added the coach. “By far our best hitting performance of the year.”
Friday, the team headed to Linden for a non-league contest, a final tune up before the playoffs.
“It was a great game by both teams. Linden ended up scoring two in the sixth inning to put us away,” Franceschetti said. “We lost 2-0 but we pitched extremely well and we had some good at bats, just never got the two out hit.”
The Cougars went 7-5 in TVL for third place, and are 12-11 overall.
Franceschetti said the team is trending in the right direction as they start postseason play. Escalon, as the No. 6 seed in Division 5, travels to Sacramento to take on the No. 3 seed Bradshaw Christian team in the quarterfinals.
“With how we played this past week I like where we are at,” Franceschetti said. “I feel like we are getting ready to play our best ball and it comes at a great time in the year.”
For the JV boys, they did not get to play MC as the Crusaders do not field a junior varsity team. They did travel to Linden and fell in a close 6-5 contest to the host Lions. They closed out their season with a 7-14 overall record and were 4-8 in league play.
Entering their final week of Trans-Valley League play, the varsity softball girls face off with the two teams ahead of them in the league standings.
Escalon comes in to the week ranked third, looking to get wins over Riverbank and Ripon. They lost in extra innings on the road in an earlier contest at Riverbank and hope to avenge that loss when they host the Lady Bruins on Wednesday, May 10 at 4 p.m. Then, on Thursday, they travel for the regular season finale at Ripon, the league leader, with a 4 p.m. start on May 11.
Head coach Caitlin Brooks said the team’s playoff hopes rest on the outcome of this week, as they look to not only solidify a postseason berth but jockey for seeding position as well.
Closing out the season with a tournament at The Reserve in Stockton, head coach Brandon Hoover said it was a high note for senior Jared Trimble, as he ended his high school golf career shooting a season best 115.
“TJ McNeil ended the season ranked fifth in the TVL,” added Hoover.
Noah Ghiglieri and Brenden Berchtold both finished the season strong as well.
“They were playing their best golf at the end of the year,” Hoover explained. “As freshmen they got some valuable experience playing against older competition and playing legit par 72 courses.”
Matix Trimble and Ethan Johnson also played in multiple varsity tournaments as freshmen, said Hoover, which can provide a good foundation from which to work.
“Those four will be the core of this program for the near future,” the coach said. “They all need to fully commit to golf during the off-season if we want to make Escalon golf a successful program again.”