Going into the week, JV baseball coach Travis Bartelink knew it was going to be a tough one and one that would also be key to the fate of his squad, as they look to take a Trans-Valley League title. The team had a road game at Hughson on Wednesday and hosted the Huskies on Friday, with both games going into the win column.
On the road, it was a 2-1 victory for Escalon, with Robbie Rickman recording the complete game win, needing only 74 pitches.
“We played really well,” said Bartelink.
The JV boys did struggle some at the plate but Hughson also didn’t get much going offensively, getting their only run on a solo homer in the second inning.
“We scored two runs in the fourth inning,” Bartelink said. “We got three consecutive hits with two outs, Christian Fernandez and Adam Roberson had singles, then Dustin Lawrence had a two-RBI double.”
That proved to be all the offense Escalon would need, as they left Hughson with the win.
Friday at home, it was a much different final score, as Escalon upended the Huskies 13-3 in five innings. That was a final more indicative of the differences between the two teams, said Bartelink.
“We scored three in the first, five in the third and five in the fifth,” the coach explained. “It went only five innings. We had guys on base every inning.”
Rapping out 18 hits as a team, the effort was well-rounded, with everyone getting a chance to contribute.
“Travis Nascimento went 4-for-4 in the leadoff spot, he really set the table for us,” Bartelink explained. “Wesley Dick was 2-for-2 with two doubles, Fernandez was 2-for-2.”
Starting pitcher Moises Murga went the distance and had seven strikeouts along with going 2-for-4 at the plate. He also closed out the final inning with a walk-off hit that drove in the run to give Escalon the 10-run margin of victory.
“JoJo Dutra had a couple of hits, Jackson Bennett, Wyatt Cockrell and Logan Widmer all had hits,” said Bartelink. “In the fifth, Moises led off with a fly out, then we had seven consecutive hits. We had a lot of guys come off the bench and get the big hits, it helped show them the work they do in practice pays off.”
The JV boys improved to 6-0 in league play with the wins and will be home to host Hilmar on Wednesday, then travel to Hilmar to face the Yellowjackets on Friday, April 26.