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Linden Claims Loureiro Tournament Title
Escalon's underclassmen had a tough tournament this past week, hosting the annual Bob Loureiro classic at the EHS varsity field, but they learned a lot in the process.

For varsity coach Greg Largent, who served as skipper for one of the games, the goal was to see how players would respond in different situations, finding out who could do what and who reacted well to the pressure.

"I know last year's freshmen (incoming sophomores) were disappointed in the outcome but I really believe the team will benefit in the end," Largent explained.

The 'B' team will make up the majority of the JV squad next baseball season so it was key to see where players' strengths were, said Largent.

"It was one of those situations where it was one step forward and three steps back," he said.

The Cougars were in a bracket with Oakdale, Beyer and Gregori and though they lost all their games, Largent said it wasn't due to a lack of effort and there were also some very good things happening on the diamond.

"We could have taken the easy route but it's not always about the win," the coach said. "It's about learning as a group and making progress. There were a lot of positives."

Linden, Ripon Christian, Modesto and Enochs were in the other bracket.

Escalon opened play with Oakdale on Tuesday, fell to Beyer on Wednesday and then lost to Gregori to close out bracket play on Thursday.

This was the ninth annual Bob Loureiro Summer Tournament.

Linden turned out to be the tournament champions, winning their bracket and then defeating the other bracket winner, Beyer, by a 3-2 score in the finale.

"All of our games were close," Largent said, noting that the B team was skippered by a combination of coaches during the tournament. "It was a good learning experience."