By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cougar Sluggers Claw Past Lions and Bears
Placeholder Image
Hosting Linden and Summerville in non-league action this week, the varsity Cougar baseball boys got past both squads.

They used some strong hitting to take a 10-2 win off the baseball diamond in Tuesday's game with Linden.

The host Cougars allowed a single run to the Lions in the top of the first but got that run - and more - back in the bottom of the frame by pushing four runs across the plate. That would be all the Escalon varsity needed but the boys added a single run in the third and five runs in the fifth. Linden scored one more run in the sixth inning but couldn't manage any more scoring against the Cougars.

"We pounded the ball well and played good defense," said head coach Bob Loureiro.

Escalon had 10 runs on 13 hits with no errors, Linden had two runs and rapped out 12 hits, committing two errors.

"Our pitching wasn't up to par with what it has been but it didn't hurt us," the coach added, noting that the offense came up big in the contest.

After Linden jumped out to the 1-0 lead, the Cougars fashioned a solid inning, with Jesse Miguel leading off with a walk and stealing second. Mike Johansen singled, K.J. Vandagriff rapped an RBI groundout to score a run, followed by a walk and then a two-RBI single from Peter Krumeich. Brian Lynn followed with an RBI single to round out the first inning scoring.

For the game, Lynn was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Krumeich was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs, adding a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Vandagriff was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Nate Williamson had a 2-for-3 afternoon with one RBI and one run scored.

Loureiro said his squad played a clean game, kept Linden from threatening by scattering the hits and provided ample run support for the pitchers.

Zachary Swass started the game for the Cougars on the mound, going three innings and giving up one run on seven hits. He struck out one and walked none.

Krumeich came on in relief and pitched two innings, striking out three. He allowed one run on four hits. Jeff Ahart finished up, pitching one inning. He gave up one hit and struck out one.

Fitting in a final preseason game on Saturday, the varsity boys defeated Summerville in a 5-1 decision.

They jumped out ahead with a four-run first. Miguel singled, moved up to third on errors and scored on a fielder's choice from Johansen. Ross Brayton singled to drive in a run and then Krumeich slammed a two-run homer for the early 4-0 lead. In the fourth inning, Anthony Suniga singled and stole second, Derik Placido drove him in with a double.

"We left 11 runners on base so we didn't make the most of our opportunities," noted Loureiro.

Summerville scored a single run in the seventh inning and had three hits and three errors on the day.

Escalon had eight hits and three errors.

Johansen went the first four innings, allowing no runs on two hits. He struck out three and walked none in facing 15 batters. Grant Goedhart went two innings, striking out two and walking one. Ahart pitched just a third of an inning and ran into some trouble, giving up a hit, a walk and having some errors committed behind him.

"Krumeich came on with one out and the bases loaded, he got two strikeouts to end the game," Loureiro explained.

Miguel was 2-for-4 against Summerville, Krumeich was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.

"So we finish the preseason at 7-0," Loureiro said. "But now they count."

The Cougars were scheduled to kick off Trans-Valley League play with a game at Hughson on Tuesday, March 16 and will host Livingston on Thursday, March 18. Game time is 3:30 p.m.