Action in the Downey warm-up tournament saw the Escalon summer baseball team go 2-2 during their first competition of the campaign.
Head coach Greg Largent said the games for the ‘A’ team were June 3 through 6 with the boys defeating Beyer and Ripon while losing to Gregori and Downey.
“Monday we lost to Gregori 5-2 but it was a real good game,” Largent said. “Ty Harris gave us a great effort on the mound and it was a 2-2 game until the top of the seventh.”
In Gregori’s final at bat, they took advantage of a hit batter, a couple of bunts and a couple of singles.
“Three runs scored real quick,” Largent said, adding that Harris definitely kept the team in the contest.
Tuesday against Beyer, the squad enjoyed a 10-5 victory but they had to battle back to do it.
“We fell down early, 4-0,” the coach noted. “Then we scored eight runs in the fifth.”
Noah Rast pitched five innings in the win, Luke Anderson and Clayton Evans each doubled. Rapping out a bases loaded double was Roman Gonzalez. Anderson also came on to pitch in relief.
Action in the game on June 5 saw the team once again going down early, allowing eight runs to Downey in the first inning. The Escalon bats went pretty silent in the 10-1 loss. The bright spot was some solid work on the mound from Giavanni Brunetti.
“Then we played Ripon and got down 6-0 but whittled our way back,” Largent said. “We got a walk off win.”
Escalon scored some runs in the fourth and got closer in the fifth, then got out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh to go into the bottom of the inning facing a 6-5 deficit.
Zack Hearn started on the mound and Evans came on in relief.
In the bottom of the seventh, Dylan Ruiz got the rally started, hit by a pitch, then stole second. Harris worked out a walk, Anderson sent a sharp ground ball to second that advanced the runners, and Rast tied the game up with an RBI single. Evans stepped to the plate and was the hero, notching the game-winning hit.
“Wednesday was so hot, Thursday was windy, we just dealt with a variety of conditions,” Largent said, pleased overall with the 2-2 showing for the team in the first week of play. “Noah Rast had an all-around great week defensively at third base and pitching as well as having some great at bats.”
Largent also said he is glad for the free substitution policy in summer, which allows for multiple players to get in and the opportunity for coaches to teach on the fly, making it a unique opportunity for players to learn more about the game.
This summer’s ‘B’ team of incoming freshmen and returning sophomores features a roster of about 18 players, said head coach Ken Baptista.
The younger boys also played four games this week and went 0-for-4, though a couple of the losses came late after they had battled to keep the contests close.
“This is one of the larger summer teams we’ve had in a few years,” Baptista said. “We had some good spurts with our pitching but we are having some growing pains on defense though we had some glimpses of good things.”
The squad faced off first with Modesto on June 3 and lost on a fielder’s choice in the last inning, then took a loss to Downey on June 4, the winning run scoring on a passed ball.
June 5 they faced off with Oakdale and June 6, it was a game against Enochs.
“Against Oakdale, it was close early but then we made some defensive errors,” explained Baptista. “With Enochs, again it was close early so we are starting off games well.”
For the incoming freshmen, the hardest part is adjusting to the faster speed of the high school game and needing to make adjustments quickly. Baptista said the team provides a “good number to work with” in terms of players and the busy month of June will help give them exposure to a variety of opponents.
The summer schedule runs through the month of June; the A team is playing this week in the Enochs Tournament while the B team is at the Downey Tournament. Next week, the A team goes to the Lee Hampson Tournament for games Monday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 19 and a possible game on Thursday, June 20 if they make the final four. The B team will host squads in the Bob Loureiro Tournament in Escalon, with the local boys taking the field each day, June 17 through 20, at 8:45 a.m.