In another topsy turvy week, Escalon’s varsity boys shut out Modesto Christian in their first meeting but then were roughed up by the Crusaders in round two. They also lost to a talented Beyer team late in the week, splitting their league games and falling in the non-league contest.
“Tuesday at MC we got the 9-0 victory,” said head coach Greg Largent. “We got three runs in the first inning and also took advantage of 13 walks.”
Demetrio Perez had three runs batted in, Brandon Grogan added two hits and two walks.
“We completed four double plays, played really good defense,” Largent said. “Hashem Naraghi started at catcher and did a great job behind the plate, called a great game.”
Robby Rickman went six innings on the mound, struck out five, walked five and hit one batter. Kash Satnat came on to pitch the seventh inning in relief.
“Naraghi went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, connected on a hit and run,” noted Largent.
But Thursday saw a complete turnaround in the team’s fortunes, as they fell behind 6-1 before battling back to make it close at the end, losing 6-5.
Grogan walked in the first and stole two bases, scoring on a Perez RBI single but then the Crusaders scored six unanswered runs.
“We gave up four runs in the fourth and they scored two with two outs in the fifth,” Largent explained.
A combination of hits, walks and errors helped the Crusaders build up the lead.
“We got a rally going with two outs in the seventh,” added Largent. “We scored four runs with two outs but fell just short, lost 6-5, with the tying run at third.”
Grogan had two hits including a double, Perez was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Friday, in a non-league game hosting Beyer, the Cougars had Kevin Gregorio on the mound and though it was a rough first inning, Largent said he threw well once he settled in.
By that time, though, the Patriots had put six runs on the board.
“We answered with three of our own,” Largent said of the Cougars battling back.
Grogan walked to lead off the first and Perez followed with a two-run homer, Rickman walked and Trevor Van Boven drove him with an RBI single to make it 6-3.
“In the second they added two, we added two, they got one more in the fourth on a double and a single,” explained Largent. “It got ugly in the sixth, we gave up seven more runs.”
Jackson Bennett came on in relief of Gregorio and the Cougars did manage to score one more run in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 16-6 final.
“We knew Beyer was a good team,” Largent said.
Gregorio had a tremendous day at the plate with a 3-for-3 showing, a single, double and triple as well as two RBIs. Van Boven went 2-for-3, Perez had two runs scored and the home run, Grogan had a triple and an RBI.
The Cougars were scheduled to host Riverbank on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and travel to Hughson for a game on Thursday. With the split against Modesto Christian they stand at 6-4 in the TVL.
“Hughson is 9-1, they are running away with it,” Largent said. “We are tied with Ripon for second, if we take care of business ourselves, we should end up as the number two seed; we have the tiebreaker against Ripon.”
Only one game was on the schedule for Escalon’s JV baseball boys this week, suiting up for non-league action Friday at home against Beyer. The host team took a 6-4 loss to the visiting Patriots.
“Errors cost us the game,” said coach Ken Baptista. “Big hits from Parker Cosby, Estephan Salcedo and Justice Naraghi kept us in the game.”
The JV squad had the tying run on base in the seventh but couldn’t hit him in, said Baptista.
They get back to league play this week, on the road at Hughson on Thursday and hosting Mountain House on Friday.