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JV Boys Start League, JV Girls Host Manteca
JV Finta
Sliding in to home, JV Cougar Zachary Finta, 15, was tagged out by the Ripon catcher, who put the tag down before Finta’s foot reached home plate during a league game in Escalon on March 18. Marg Jackson/The Times

Trans-Valley League play started this past week for the Escalon junior varsity baseball team and they took a pair of losses.

It was ‘Ripon Week’ with the squad first traveling to play at Ripon on March 16, then hosting the JV Indians on Friday, March 18.

“We lost them both, Ripon is really good,” aid JV head coach Ken Baptista of the back-to-back losses.

On the road, the Cougar JV boys fell by a 14-4 final.

“They put it on us in the first couple of innings,” Baptista noted. “Gregg Adams started and gave up three runs in the first.”

It was 10-0 after two but Baptista said the team also made several mistakes in the field that helped Ripon pad its lead.

Escalon had just a handful of hits on the day, with Adams going 2-for-3 with two singles, Jackson Runnels had a hit and Ian Burk doubled.

Hosting Ripon on Friday, it was a 9-1 loss for the JV Cougars.

“They scored one run in the first and they had a home run in the second to make it 3-0,” said Baptista. “We scored our one run in the fourth.”

Runnels doubled and scored on a Ryan Murphy RBI single. Nate Krieger also added a bunt single on the afternoon.

“We had guys on base but couldn’t get them in,” Baptista said.

Runnels got the start and went five innings, allowing just three earned runs.

But Ripon found a way to again cash in on some miscues and took the win.

This week, the JV boys will face off with Livingston in a home and road series, Wednesday and Friday.



The young softball Lady Cougars were on the field against Manteca on Friday, but it turned out to be more of a scrimmage than a game. That, because Escalon had to borrow a couple of the Manteca bench players to field a full team. Also, there was no umpire so it wasn’t an official contest.

Kilee Hernlund pitched the first half of the game, said coach Amanda Vanderwall, and had two strikeouts on the mound while also rapping out a double at the plate.

“Claire Barkus was our closing pitcher, she had four strikeouts,” said Vanderwall. “Bella Silveira had a diving catch at short and hit a triple.”

And while there weren’t any official stats or scores recorded, Vanderwall said there were a lot of good performances from her players on the field.

“Genevieve Casazza had an amazing catch between second and right field and Mandi Aldridge was my catcher, she let nothing by her and had some great throws to third and second.”

The girls are scheduled to start Trans-Valley League play this week.

JV Aldridge
JV softball player Mandi Aldridge, 22, takes a solid swing at the plate during Friday afternoon’s scrimmage against Manteca. This hit was an RBI single. Marg Jackson/The Times