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JV Baseball Boys Notch Twin Wins Over Ripon
Relief pitcher Evan Bava comes in toward the plate to try and tag out the Ripon runner following a passed ball in Thursday afternoon action. This run scored but the host JV Cougars got the victory. Marg Jackson/The Times

An easy win and a hard fought contest were featured for Escalon’s junior varsity baseball boys this past week. They got victories on the road and at home against Ripon to improve to 4-0 in Trans-Valley League play.

They were two very different contests, however, with the boys first traveling to Ripon for a Tuesday, March 26 contest.

“We won 14-2 in five innings,” said JV head coach Ken Baptista. “Demetrius Teixeira went four innings, struck out eight, allowed three hits and two runs.”

Offensively, the JV Cougars took advantage of the small Ripon field, crushing five home runs on the day. Mark-Anthony Valente had two homers, a double and three RBI; Cameron LoValvo was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI; Cam Maruyama and Teixeira each had a home run as well with Maruyama driving in three runs.

Evan Bava pitched the final inning for Escalon.

“We put it on them in the second inning and we had great pitching,” Baptista said of keys to the game.

Thursday on the Cougars’ home field, Ripon came ready to play with revenge on their minds and it was a back-and-forth contest that saw Escalon ultimately prevail by a 13-11 final.

“Ripon played a really good game,” said Baptista. “They could have folded but they didn’t.”

Escalon again jumped on the Indians, scoring four runs in the first inning but Ripon didn’t let the early lead change their game plan. In fact, they turned the tables on the young Cougars in the fourth, pushing eight runs across the plate to take an 8-4 lead. Escalon managed one in their half of the frame to get within 8-5.

The visiting JV Indians then added two in the fifth to go up 10-5.

“I’m proud of our guys, they didn’t get down on themselves,” Baptista said of his team staying the course. “In the fifth, we scored eight runs to make it 13-10.”

The big hit of the inning was a bases loaded knock from J.P. Lial that scored two, with a third run scoring on an error.

“Lial also played great defense at third for us,” Baptista said.

Ripon managed to get one run back in the seventh but the game ended with the Cougars on top, 13-11.

Giavanni Brunetti went three-and-a-third innings with three strikeouts; Evan Bava came on in relief and pitched well, then gave way to Alex Guevara in the fifth.

“He was actually the winning pitcher, went two-and-a-third innings, allowed one hit, one run and struck out three,” Baptista said of Guevara.

Escalon did help contribute to Ripon’s offense by committing six errors; they also had five hits and the JV Cougars took advantage of 12 walks issued by the Indians.

“I told the guys, this is what rivalry games are all about,” said Baptista.

The JV boys ended the week at 4-0 in TVL play and were scheduled to host 4-0 Livingston on Tuesday, April 2 after The Times went to press. Then they will travel to Livingston on Thursday, April 4 and are scheduled to travel to Half Moon Bay for a Saturday non-league game on April 6.