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Loureiro Tournament Action For Young Baseball Cougars
Escalons Nash Satnat sends the pitch toward the plate while the Oakdale batter squares around for a possible bunt attempt in action during the Bob Loureiro Invitational. The Mustangs topped the Cougars in the Thursday contest. Marg Jackson/The Times

With the youngest ‘C’ team of incoming freshmen joining in with the ‘B’ team of incoming sophomores, it was a very young Cougar baseball squad that suited up for this past week’s Bob Loureiro Invitational Tournament.

Varsity baseball coach Greg Largent said the summer numbers had dwindled a bit and rather than disband the frosh squad, he and JV coach Ken Baptista agreed that they would combine the freshmen and sophomores into one squad. Baptista leads the ‘B’ team and Largent, as varsity coach, has his ‘A’ team in action for a full summer schedule this month.

The ‘B’ team served as host squad for the Loureiro tourney June 20 through 23 and went 2-2 during the event.

“This week we put some pretty good games together,” Baptista noted. “We’re very young.”

The team started out the tournament with a game against Modesto and lost that one, then worked their way to a close 3-1 win against Enochs. Having lost to that team previously this summer, Baptista was pleased with the turnaround.

“Then we played Downey and we 10-runned them,” he said of getting the Wednesday win in a shortened contest. “We were starting to hit and that gave us more confidence, when one kid starts to hit, it seems like they all do.”

Going into Thursday’s finale against Oakdale, the Cougars were 2-1 but they ran into a buzz saw against the Mustangs.

“Oakdale was a better team than us, they had all sophomores, more experience,” Baptista said.

His team did push across a couple of runs in the late innings but took the loss to complete the tournament with a respectable 2-2 showing.

“This week we’ve got our end of season tournament at Modesto High School,” Baptista said, with Sonora, Modesto and Gregori all on the schedule.

“It’s good for the kids to play this summer, especially the incoming freshmen, they get their first taste of high school ball, they get that extra time on the field,” Baptista said.