Weather washed out one baseball game that was on the schedule this week, leaving the Escalon Cougars with just one contest.
For the varsity, it was a road victory while the JV boys fell to Sierra as the squads headed to Manteca.
The varsity game went to Escalon with a 6-5 decision.
“It was a really good ball game, they scored a single run in the first, we escaped two bases loaded jams in the third and fourth,” said head coach Greg Largent. “There were a few lead changes.”
And though it was a preseason contest, Largent said it definitely had a “playoff feel” because of the high caliber team that Sierra puts on the diamond, giving Escalon a tough game.
In the third inning, the Cougars got out of the first bases loaded jam, with a 5-1-3 double play getting them out of trouble. In the fourth, it was another double play that ended a scoring threat by Sierra. Starting pitcher Colton Lowney went up to grab a comebacker to the mound and threw the ball home to cut down the runner trying to score from third. Catcher Parker Cosby made the out at home and then stepped out to fire to first, but the runner was inside the baseline and the ball hit the runner, resulting in an out on the interference call.
“In the fourth, we tied it up on a Lucca Dutra home run,” said Largent.
Escalon went ahead in the fifth, Tanner McCrary was hit by a pitch and, after an out, Cosby worked out a walk. Max Nicholas then doubled to drive in a run to take a 2-1 lead. Dutra then lifted a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 advantage for the Cougars.
“Then they sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth,” Largent said.
Sierra was able to score two runs to knot the game at 3-3 and it stayed that way through the sixth inning.
Anthony LaRossa came on in relief of Lowney for the sixth inning and threw well against the host squad.
“In the top of the seventh, after one out, Cosby walked and stole second, Nicholas drove in the go ahead run with an RBI single. Dutra then doubled and after Cole Gilbert walked to load the bases, Lowney ripped a two-out RBI double to make it 6-3.
“In the bottom of the seventh, LaRossa gave up a leadoff single and then got three straight strikeouts to end the game,” said Largent.
Escalon had 11 hits on the day, with multi-hit games from Nicholas, Dutra and Zach Abraham.
“This was a quality win, we fell behind for the first time this year and found a way to battle back,” Largent explained. “This was two good teams going at it.”
A scheduled Friday game at Grace Davis on March 2 was postponed due to rain.
The JV Cougars did not have the same success as their older counterparts on the road, falling in a 12-3 final to Sierra.
“We went six innings, then it was too cold, too dark,” head coach Ken Baptista said. “We fell behind 6-0 in the first inning and just couldn’t get back into the game.”
A tough day at the plate saw the JV squad collect just three hits, paced by a 1-for-3 night with a run scored by Bryce McPherrin. Kaidence Trejo had an RBI double and Noah Rast went 1-for-2.
The JV team also got rained out on Friday.
This week, the Cougars were scheduled to host Sonora on Tuesday, March 6 after The Times went to press and are also slated to play on the road at Livingston on Friday, March 9.