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Summer Baseball Schedule Keeps Cougar Squads Busy
Shown during the Section final game on Memorial Day, varsity head coach Greg Largent, center, with sunglasses, is now leading the Cougars in a busy summer schedule of baseball. Marg Jackson/The Times

The dog days of summer haven’t kept the boys of summer from continuing to hit the diamond.

Escalon High School baseball teams are busy with a series of tournaments this month, with varsity head coach Greg Largent leading the ‘A’ team of returning and potential incoming varsity players, while JV head coach Ken Baptista handles the ‘B’ team, made up primarily of junior varsity players.

“The varsity this past week was at the Downey Tournament and we actually won the tourney,” said Largent.

The Cougars got wins over Gregori, Downey and Hilmar while losing to Modesto High for an overall 3-1 record. They compiled the same record as East Union but won the tournament based on the fewest runs allowed formula.

Earlier in the month, the team started out the summer season with a 2-2 showing in the Steve Streeter Memorial Tournament at Enochs.

“We lost to Downey and Sierra, we beat Gregori and El Capitan out of Merced,” Largent noted.

Action for the ‘A’ team this week will be in the Lee Hampson Tournament, the biggest event of the summer.

“There are 20 teams there,” Largent said, with games Monday through Wednesday, June 19 through 21, being played at Enochs, Oakdale, Johansen and Modesto high schools.

“We play our games at Enochs and you have to win your pool to continue on to Thursday,” explained Largent. “We are scheduled to play Ceres, Atwater and Bear Creek.”

The ‘A’ team is currently suiting up 17 players, though Largent said the line-up never seems to be the same, with kids juggling other summer sports camps, the fair and family vacations with the baseball schedule.

The JV ‘B’ team has had as many as 23 kids involved, again with rotating players based on schedules. Largent said they have also been able to utilize some of the younger players on the ‘A’ team, helping get them acclimated to the higher level of play at the high school level.

“There’s open substitution,” Largent added, with the league as much instructional as competitive.

The JV boys are busy hosting the Bob Loureiro Tournament this week at Escalon; they were scheduled for 8:30 a.m. games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Their record in the opening three games will determine when they play in the final round contests on Thursday, June 22.

Escalon, Gregori, Ripon Christian, Beyer, Downey, Oakdale and two teams from Enochs, a black team and a gold team, are scheduled to participate in the tournament.