Weather was not the friend of the Escalon Cougars – or any other team, for that matter – this past week as much of the preseason baseball schedule was washed out.
The only game for the Cougars was on the home field on Friday, March 1 when they hosted Downey. The varsity squad made the most of their one time on the field, putting away the Knights by a 10-0 final.
“We had a day off Wednesday, a great practice on Thursday and I was real proud of the kids, they played great on Friday,” said head coach Greg Largent. “We pounded out 11 hits, we cut down on our strikeouts, we played clean defensively.”
Cole Gilbert got the start on the mound for Escalon and went four solid innings, scattering three hits, striking out three and walking two.
“Carson George came in and pitched two innings in relief,” Largent noted. “He allowed one hit.”
Escalon jumped in front of the visitors with a five-run first inning and continued to add runs up until the knockout blow in the sixth, getting the win via the 10-run rule.
In the first, Clayton Ferreira led off with a first pitch double, followed by a walk to Brad Hagglund. Lucca Dutra then drove in Ferreira with an RBI single, Luke Anderson walked, a wild pitch scored Hagglund, Nash Satnat reached on an error that scored a run and Bryce McPherrin rapped out a hit to plate some more, giving Escalon a lead they would not relinquish.
Ferreira added an RBI single in the fourth inning while Dutra had a two-run double in that frame.
In the sixth, pinch hitter Ethan Johnson got on with a single, Hagglund went in as a pinch runner and moved to second on a wild pitch. Gilbert singled and then Satnat had an RBI single to make it 10-0 and end the game.
“Dylan Ruiz had some nice plays in centerfield,” Largent noted. “We played errorless.”
Hagglund had three runs scored, Satnat had two hits and two RI, Gilbert had three hits and Dutra and Ferreira had two hits apiece in the win.
Largent said the wet weather may have kept the team off the field for part of the week but they came out strong.
“We played to our potential,” the coach said.
It was a one-game week for the JV Cougars on the baseball diamond as well, getting a shutout win against Downey, 6-0.
“We jumped on them with five runs in the first inning, it was nice to get a lead,” head coach Ken Baptista noted. “Demetrius Teixeira pitched and went five-and-a-third innings, he only gave up one hit, that was in the top of the sixth, and he had five strikeouts.”
Teixeira hit his pitch count so he was lifted for reliever Josh Miller, who closed out the game.
“We hit around in the first inning,” added Baptista. “We played really good defensive baseball and we need to do that to be successful.”
Offensively, Kam Maruyama was 3-for-4 with three singles, Mark Valente had two hits and Cameron LoValvo was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Teixeira and Giavanni Brunetti each had a hit as well.
Depending on the weather, the team will either practice outside this week or use a classroom setting to go over situational plays that come up in the game.
“We need to improve out baseball mindset,” said Baptista.