Heading into the week, both the JV Escalon Cougars and Livingston Wolves were undefeated in Trans-Valley League play. The teams split their contests, both coming away with a win on their home field to stay tied in the standings, 5-1.
Tuesday, the Cougars hosted Livingston and put an 8-3 win on the books.
“We had a big sixth inning,” head coach Ken Baptista explained. “We were up 4-2 and scored four runs.”
Demetrius Teixeira went five-and-a-third strong innings, allowing three runs while striking out nine. Josh Miller came on in relief, pitching the final inning and two-thirds.
“Both starting pitchers pitched really well,” noted Baptista. “Once we got into their bullpen we scored a little more.”
Cam Maruyama was 3-for-4 with a run batted in on the day, while Evan Bava had two hits and Cameron LoValvo had two hits and drove in three runs.
Thursday, the JV boys were on the road and fell in an 11-7 final at Livingston.
“We scored two in the first, they got four in the second, we scored three in the third,” Baptista said of the back-and-forth contest. “They’re a really good small ball team; they’re not going to hit it over the fence. They know what they’re good at and that’s what they do.”
Moving baserunners along is a specialty, and the Wolves stole 10 bases on Thursday, up from seven stolen bases on Tuesday. Baptista said the team worked on trying to limit the steals on Thursday but the Wolves were too fast and ran the bases too well.
Mark-Anthony Valente went 2-for-4 on the day with three runs batted in and Alex Guevara also had some big hits for the JV boys in the loss.
Baptista said his team battled but couldn’t quite get the comeback win, having to settle for the TVL split.
Saturday, they traveled to Half Moon Bay for non-league action, falling in a 4-1 final.
“They threw a lot of high level pitching at us,” Baptista said.
Guevara got his first start of the season for the JV boys on the mound. He went three innings and gave up four runs and six walks. Orion Hoover came on in relief and pitched three shutout innings.
Valente had two hits in the loss. Escalon’s lone run came in the bottom of the sixth, after Teixeira reached on a triple and scored on a Giavanni Brunetti ground out.
Returning to league play this week, the boys were scheduled to be at Modesto Christian for a game on Tuesday, after The Times went to press. They will host the Crusaders on Wednesday, April 10 and then will play Linden in a 4 p.m. non-league game on Saturday, April 13 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.