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Cougars Claim Win Over Ripon Christian For No. 600
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Win number 600 on the baseball field came this week for Escalon varsity baseball coach Bob Loureiro, claiming the historic victory on Tuesday, May 4 against Ripon Christian. His varsity Cougars then made it 601 with a win at home Thursday against Ripon.

To start off the week, however, the Cougars had to finish out a game with Ripon Christian that was called due to darkness in a tie earlier in the season. That game went to sudden death.

Escalon did not score in their half of the inning.

"They got the last ups and with two outs, they won it on a home run," Loureiro said of Ripon Christian's 3-2 win. "Zach Swass got the loss."

Moving on to the regularly scheduled game with RC, Escalon scored in every inning on the way to the historic win, giving Loureiro an 8-5 win for number 600 in his career.

Ripon Christian took the early lead, with one run in the first, but Escalon answered back with a run of their own, Peter Krumeich getting the sacrifice fly to drive in Ross Brayton, who had reached on a single. One run came in for Escalon in the second, third and fourth innings as well, with the Cougars putting three on the board in the fifth and one final run in the sixth.

In the second, Jesse Miguel notched an RBI single, Krumeich doubled home a run in the third and K.J. Vandagriff got a ground out RBI in the fourth.

Highlighting the fifth inning was a solo home run from Brian Lynn, Brian Beeman added a two-RBI single. Final run came in the sixth, with Lynn reaching on a single, advancing on Nate Williamson's double and scoring on an RBI single from Nick Brown.

"Pitching wise, Mike Johansen started, he went four-and-a-third innings and faced 17 batters, Grant Goedhart came in and went two-and-a-third, he was the winning pitcher," Loureiro said.

The Cougars had three doubles and a home run in the game, breaking out the power.

"The first one was like a shocker, what do we do now?," Loureiro admitted of losing the tie game in the sudden death showdown. "We gathered ourselves in the 10-minute break between games, came back and won."

And though 600 was a milestone Loureiro was happy to finally achieve, he said the win was even more important because it keeps Escalon in the running for a postseason berth.

"This league situation, there's so many what ifs," the coach noted. "We've been in and out, now we're back in."

The Cougars stayed on track for possible postseason play with a win on the road Thursday at Ripon, holding off the Indians in a 6-4 contest.

Escalon scored two runs in the first, two in the second and two more in the sixth. Each team had eight hits.

Vandagriff and Krumeich drove in runs in the first inning, Miguel notched a two-run homer in the second.

"Derik Placido walked, Swass sacrificed him, then Miguel hit a two-run homer, a gigantic blast, that gave us a 4-1 lead," Loureiro said.

Ripon added one more run in the fourth and two in the sixth but Escalon also scored two in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Swass and Miguel had RBI singles in the sixth.

"We left the bases loaded at that point," Loureiro said of the sixth inning. "We had a chance to score more but didn't."

A single and a home run for Ripon in their half of the sixth closed the gap but Escalon held on for the win.

"Swass came up with a good seventh inning, he had two strikeouts in that frame and really pitched his best game of the year," noted Loureiro. "He faced 31 batters."

Escalon again showed some power, with three extra base hits.

"This was a good win, we've just seemed to play our best ball against Ripon this season and it put us back in the hunt for playoffs."

Escalon ended the week in third place with a 7-5 mark in league, 17-6 overall.

They were scheduled to host Patterson on Tuesday, May 11, after The Times went to press and will be in action at Riverbank on Thursday, May 13 in the regular season finale.