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JV Baseball Closes Out Perfect League Campaign
Junior varsity player Hunter Calton makes contact during Thursdays game at home against Hilmar, with the squad earning a comeback 3-2 victory to clinch an undefeated season in the Trans-Valley League. Marg Jackson/The Times

With wins in both games this week, Escalon’s JV baseball boys captured the Trans-Valley League title.

And they did it in dramatic, comeback fashion on Thursday, with the winning run scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The squad started off the week at Hilmar on Wednesday, taking a 7-1 victory off the field.

“Logan Widmer was the hitting star, he went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double, two RBIs,” said coach Ken Baptista. “The entire bottom of our line-up also hit very well that day.”

That included Dylan Azevedo going 2-for-4 with a run batted in, rapping out a single and a double; Chance Bollen with a 2-for-4 afternoon as well.

“Winning pitcher was Justice Naraghi, he struck out seven, allowed two hits,” said Baptista.

Escalon had seven runs on 12 hits, while Hilmar managed just the one run on two hits. The JV Cougars scored two runs in the first, three in the second, one in the third, one in the sixth. Hilmar’s only run came in the sixth inning.

Thursday, in the TVL finale, the JV boys wrapped up a perfect 10-0 campaign.

“We won 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh on a passed ball, Wyatt Cockrell was able to score to finish up the comeback win,” Baptista explained. “We only had five hits, we struck out 11 times but we scratched and clawed to win it.”

Hilmar had a 1-0 lead in the fifth, but Escalon scored twice in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.

“Then they scored in the sixth to tie it,” Baptista said of Hilmar.

The Cougars didn’t score in the sixth but they held Hilmar off the board in the top of the seventh, getting one final chance to win it.

The JV boys did not disappoint.

After one out, Cockrell got on base with an infield single and then stole second base. He advanced to third on a passed ball and was there with two outs.

“There were two outs and two strikes on the batter when there was another passed ball and Wyatt was able to score,” said Baptista, with the celebration on at home plate. “He scored two of our three runs, had three stolen bases.”

Widmer had another solid day with two hits and an RBI.

“That was our last league game and we went undefeated, 10-0,” Baptista said. “We’re now 16-0 overall.”

This week, the team is in a spring break tournament at Beyer High School, with games slated Monday through Thursday. The first three were already scheduled, with the Thursday finale depending on the outcome of those first three. The boys were scheduled to play Davis on Monday, Enochs on Tuesday and will face off with Downey today, Wednesday at 1:45 p.m.

“We’re going to see some good competition,” Baptista noted. “The kids were really happy to go undefeated in league but they’re hungry for more, they want to reach that goal of being perfect.

“It’ll be a challenge but I think we’re ready for it.”