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League, Team Honors Presented To Varsity Baseball Players
In a season that saw the team bond together through tragedy and leave the bitter taste of an early second season playoff exit a year ago far behind them, Escalon's varsity baseball Cougars compiled a 13-2 Trans-Valley League record and went 25-3 overall. The baseball team toppled 10-time defending champion Central Catholic in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 finals, bringing the blue banner home and, with it, plenty of honors for the players.

League selections and team awards were presented at the spring sports awards barbecue earlier this month at Escalon High.

Senior Spencer Franceschetti was named the Trans-Valley League's Most Valuable Player for the year, while sophomore Josh Miguel was named as the league's Most Valuable Defensive Player and shared Most Valuable Offensive Player honors with Clayton Prins of Ripon Christian. Named as TVL Pitcher of the Year was junior Brandon Shaw and All-TVL honors went to seniors Nick Largent and Justin Martinez, sophomores Patrick Mulry and Matt Valencia. Receiving TVL Honorable Mention were seniors Derrick DeFreitas, Travis Cardoza and sophomore Trey Balber.

Team awards, voted by players, included MVP honors for Franceschetti and Miguel, with Martinez and Cardoza sharing the Chris Martinez Most Inspirational Player award. The award was named in memory of Chris Martinez, Justin's dad, who passed away early in the season. The team dedicated its season to him, wearing a patch with the letters 'CM' on their caps and applying the same patch to the blue Section banner.

Most Improved Player honors were shared by Tym Blair and Logan Stewart, with DeFreitas, James Hill and Aaron Pangilinan receiving coach's awards. Picking up Golden Glove honors were Franceschetti, Miguel, Largent, Valencia and Balber, while Matt Hudson was selected as the George Williamson Award winner, recognized for his dedication to the game and team.

Season records set this year by the varsity Cougars included: Most hits in a season, Josh Miguel, 44; Most hit by pitch, Nick Largent, 12; Team ERA, 1.03; Team double plays, 21; Team fielding percentage, .954.

The Cougars scored 261 runs during the season while allowing 52 and posted a 10-1 mark on their home field.