Playing a familiar foe, the Escalon varsity baseball boys dropped a pair of contests – in the Valley Oak League – to traditional Trans-Valley League rival Ripon.
The boys were at home on May 11 and at Ripon on May 13, losing both contests.
It was an 8-2 loss for the varsity baseball boys on Tuesday, May 11 as Ripon cashed in on free passes, five of their eight runs coming as a result of walks.
“Ripon scored single runs in the first and third, they added two more in the fifth and four more in the sixth,” said Escalon head coach Greg Largent. “We were able to score our only two runs in the sixth.”
Back-to-back walks to Nico Franzia and Luke Anderson were followed by a Demetrius Teixeira single, which scored Franzia and a Ty Harris single that scored Anderson.
“That’s the way it ended,” Largent said of the 8-2 final. “We mustered six hits, Luke Anderson had two of our six on the day.”
Thursday, the boys were on the road at Ripon and looked for a better result, hoping to put the May 13 game in the win column.
“We started off great, we scored three in the first,” Largent said.
After an out, the Cougars got singles from Franzia and Teixeira, Bryce McPherrin reached on a fielders choice with a run scoring, Harris knocked in a run and the Cougars also tried a double steal, trading an out at second for a run scoring from third.
Ripon got two runs back in the third and tied it in the fourth.
“It stayed that way until the fifth, they added two to go up 5-3 and then added three more insurance runs in the sixth,” Largent said, with the host Indians winning the game by an 8-3 final.
“We stranded 10 runners and we got a great pitching performance by Teixeira, he did a good job but when they broke it open, we committed four errors,” Largent explained.
Friday, Escalon hosted a non-league game with Central Valley out of Ceres and were shut out by the visitors, 6-0.
“We got another great pitching performance, Ty Harris went five strong, he did a great job but we fell apart defensively behind him and didn’t hit, we had only three hits on the day,” the coach noted.
Harris had a leadoff single in the first inning, Mark Valente had a double on the day and, in a satisfying plate appearance coming back after surgery, Cam Maruyama rapped out a single. He was lifted for a pinch runner and received high fives and congratulations from his teammates in the dugout for getting a hit in his first time at the plate in weeks.
“We dropped three this week; there were some bright spots sprinkled here and there but we just can’t seem to put them together,” Largent said.
They also lost Luke Anderson for the remainder of the season due to an injury.
This week, the boys were to be at Ripon Christian on Tuesday, host the Knights on Thursday and then will have their Senior Day festivities as they welcome Linden to town for an 11 a.m. non-league game on Saturday, May 22.
Like their varsity counterparts, the JV baseball boys fell twice to Ripon this week. They were, however, able to salvage a game by topping Central Valley on Friday.
“Tuesday at home we lost to Ripon 9-5,” said coach Ken Baptista. “We trailed early but cut it to a one-run game in the third.”
Ryker Peters had a strong day on the base paths and also at the plate, going 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Austin Ewing added an RBI single.
Thursday, they dropped a 10-6 decision to Ripon on the road.
“We gave up four unearned runs in the first and could never recover,” Baptista said. “Wyatt Cox started and Jackson Runnels had two scoreless innings in relief.”
The team did have its chances, and in fact left the bases loaded twice.
Logan Anderson went 2-for-3 with two RBI, Ewing and Jamin Miller also each knocked in a run.
Friday, it was a 10-5 victory for the JV Cougars over Central Valley, paced by the effort of Peters, who got the start on the mound and struck out five in three innings. At the plate, he was 2-for-3 with a triple and four RBI. Colton Page and Runnells each had two hits; Miller threw four innings in relief and “pitched great,” said Baptista.
The JV will not have any league games this week; they will take on Linden in a home game on Saturday, May 22.