With no Trans-Valley League games on their schedule this week, the JV Cougar baseball boys got in some practices, watched some of the home varsity game on Friday, then traveled to Manteca to face off with East Union on Saturday. The non-league contest had been rescheduled from an earlier season rainout and the JV squad took a 9-8 win over the Lancers.
“It was a good win,” said head coach Ken Baptista. “We got four runs in the top of the sixth to make it a comeback win.”
The non-league game saw Cole Gilbert get the start, giving way in the fourth inning to Carson George. The team was trailing when George came in but the runs in the sixth set it up for him to get the win. With two strong innings of relief in the sixth and seventh, Anthony LaRossa got the save.
“Anthony was also 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, a stolen base, three runs scored and an RBI,” Baptista said. “Cole Gilbert was 3-for-4 with four runs batted in, including a two-run homer.”
Noah Rast had a strong day at the plate as well, with two hits and a run batted in.
Host East Union built up a 4-0 lead after three innings, with one run in the second and three in the third. Escalon trimmed the lead to 4-3 with three runs in the top of the fourth but East Union got two more in the bottom of the inning, extending the lead to 6-3. Two Cougar runs in the fifth made it 6-5, the Lancers scored two in their half of the frame to make it 8-5 but the visitors scored four in the top of the sixth to take the lead, 9-8, and held off the host squad the rest of the way for the win.
The JV team gets back to Trans-Valley League action this week, traveling to Hughson on Wednesday, May 3 and hosting the Huskies on Friday, May 5.
“We’re 6-0 in league right now,” Baptista said, noting that the team’s final two opponents, Hughson and Hilmar, are both in the thick of the title race, Hilmar undefeated in TVL play and Hughson with just two losses. Hilmar will come in on Tuesday, May 9 and the JV team closes out its season on the road at Hilmar on Wednesday, May 10 in a 4 p.m. game. The final two weeks of the campaign will decide the JV championship for the season.