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Bats Go Quiet As Cougars Lose Two Of Three
Varsity Baseball
Taking a lead off first base, Cougar Cameron Lovalvo, 49, is watched carefully by the Mountain House pitcher during a March 4 non-league game. Marg Jackson/The Times

A win, a shutout loss and a game that got away.

That summed up the week for Escalon’s varsity baseball team, as they defeated Mountain House, lost to East Union and fell to Patterson in a game where they outplayed the host team.

The week started out on a promising note as the varsity Cougars took a 3-1 decision off the field against the visiting Mountain House Mustangs on Wednesday, March 4.

“We did give up a 1-0 lead, they scored in the third but we answered with three runs in the fourth,” said Escalon head coach Greg Largent.

In the fourth inning, Noah Rast got aboard with a leadoff double and came in to score on a Cam Maruyama double.

“He hit it hard to left field, just missed a home run,” Largent said. “Luke Anderson then hit a triple to drive in a run and Demetrius Teixeira followed with a sacrifice fly.”

That put the Cougars up 3-1 and that’s all the runs that would be scored on the afternoon.

Bryce McPherrin got the start and went five strong innings, throwing 78 pitches and striking out eight while allowing just two hits.

“Rast came on in relief and pitched two innings, he faced the minimum and struck out three,” noted the coach.

While the pitching was strong on Wednesday, the team did struggle at the plate, collecting just the four hits, all coming in one inning.

Thursday, hosting East Union, the Cougars took a 12-0 loss.

“We knew, coming in, they were a very strong team,” Largent said. “They proved it.”

Three runs in the first, and an 8-0 lead by the third inning was too much of a deficit for the home team. Escalon, again, could not get their bats to come alive, unable to score any runs.

Ty Harris gave up 10 hits and eight runs, six of them earned, over four innings.

“He wasn’t able to locate his curve ball so they were sitting on the fastball,” Largent explained.

Roman Gonzalez gave up four runs in relief in the fifth inning, including a three-run homer and the Lancers pounded out 16 total hits compared to three for Escalon.

Maruyama had a double, Anderson and Ethan Johnson each had singles.

“Friday at Patterson, we outplayed them, out hit them, out pitched them, we dominated in every area except the final score,” Largent said of taking a 2-0 loss to round out the week.

Escalon had seven hits, the Tigers had just two.

“We made four crucial base running mistakes that cost us tremendously,” explained Largent. “We wasted a great pitching effort by Ethan Johnson; he pitched six innings and gave up just two hits.”

The Cougars couldn’t get the bunts down when needed, couldn’t move the man along and also ran themselves out of some innings.

“We had a great threat with the bases loaded and no outs in the third,” Largent said, adding that they could not cash in.

Luke Anderson also had a ball he crushed to right center which the outfielder caught at the height of his leap, taking away at least extra bases, if not a home run.

Escalon stranded 11 runners on the day.

The team will look to get back on track this week with a home game Wednesday, March 11 hosting Sierra and then travel to Sonora for a 6 p.m. game on Friday, March 13 as they continue with the preseason schedule.

Escalon’s Bryce McPherrin, left, squeezes the pop up after catching it near second base as teammate Gio Brunetti, right, provides some support. Marg Jackson/The Times