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Cougar Varsity Boys Claim Tournament Championship
Coming home with a trio of victories, MVP honors and several players on the All Tournament Team, Escalon's varsity Cougars got healthy in the Orestimba Easter Tournament.

After starting off the Trans-Valley League campaign with a disappointing 1-2 mark in the first three games, Spring Break could not have come at a better time for the Cougars. They headed to the tournament March 24 through 26 and poured it on, outscoring their opponents 33-2 over the course of three games and claiming the championship with a satisfying 4-2 win over Ripon Christian.

"I'd like to bottle some of those runs," head coach Greg Largent said of the offensive outburst.

Since that can't happen, he'll have to be satisfied with the tournament championship.

They kicked off the three-day tourney with a 13-0 shutout win over Summerville on Monday.

"We got Charlie back," Largent said of one of the keys to the tournament, with pitcher Charlie McDonald back on the squad. He went four innings, struck out six and allowed two hits, getting the win. Jon Whitesitt pitched one inning, with the Cougars putting the game out of reach with a five-run fifth.

"We scored three in the first, three in the second, two in the third and then five in the fifth," Largent said.

With that final inning, the Cougars took the win by virtue of the 10-run rule. Thomas Ray led off the fifth with a single, went to second on a ground out and came around to score on two consecutive passed balls. Chris Smith walked and moved to second on a passed ball, McDonald reached on an error that scored Smith, with Leighton Pangilinan and Jacob Caton following with singles, and pinch hitter Jake Winkler coming up with a double.

In that game, McDonald and Caton were both 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Tuesday, the boys were on the field against Delhi and racked up a 16-0 victory.

"We brought our bats," agreed Largent. "We had 16 runs on 18 hits."

Key to that game was the second inning, when the Cougars had every hitter - one through nine - score a run.

Whitesitt got the win, going the distance. He struck out nine in his five innings of work and gave up three hits, no runs.

"He did a real nice job and we also got a nice diving catch from Nick Aprile with the bases loaded, he was able to double up the runner at second."