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Two Trans-Valley League Wins For JV Cougars
JV player Noah Rast leads off second in a Thursday afternoon game against the visiting Riverbank Bruins. The JV Cougars took a win off the field. Marg Jackson/The Times

After a couple of lopsided wins, the JV Cougars battled but fell short against a non-league foe to close out a busy week.

They were on the road Wednesday and Friday, at home Thursday for the trio of contests.

The team opened up Trans-Valley League action at Riverbank on March 28, winning that game by a 19-3 final in five innings.

“Luke Anderson got the start, he went four innings, allowed two hits and struck out seven,” said head coach Ken Baptista. “Dylan Ruiz came in and pitched one inning.”

The young Cougars overwhelmed their opponents, jumping out to an early lead.

“We scored four runs in the first inning and batted around, we scored four more in the second and batted around,” Baptista noted.

Two runs in the third added to the lead and the team really broke it open with a nine-run fourth inning to put the game out of reach.

“It was a total team win,” added Baptista. “Everybody contributed.”

Big hitters on the day were Anderson, 4-for-4 with three runs batted in and Clay Evans, 1-for-2 with three RBI.

On the home field Thursday against the JV Bruins, it was another five-inning contest, the Cougars winning it by a 17-7 final.

“Our first five guys scored but then we went a little quiet, we scored just one in the second, three in the third,” Baptista said.

Riverbank battled back and made it close, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth to trim the Cougars’ lead to 9-7. But any hope the young visiting Bruins had was quickly crushed as Escalon roared back with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to close out the contest.

Bryce McPherrin was 3-for-4 with four runs scored and two runs batted in, Evans was 2-for-3 with four RBI. On the mound, Demetrius Teixeira got the win, going four innings and allowing just two runs on two hits with four strikeouts.

Friday, the boys played their third game in three days, traveling to Half Moon Bay.

“It was a great facility and we are looking forward to going back,” Baptista said of the state-of-the-art complex.

The game went down as a loss, the JV Cougars hurting themselves with errors and falling behind the host squad.

Noah Rast got the start and went just two-and-a-third innings, allowing six runs but also falling victim to the miscues committed behind him.

“Errors caught up to us and we were down 7-0 early,” said the coach. “In the fifth inning we scored four but we just couldn’t keep up with them.”

The final was 14-4 in favor of Half Moon Bay.

Clayton Ferreira was 2-for-4, Ruiz was 2-for-2 and Brad Hagglund went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in.

Though school is out for Spring Break this week, the JV Cougars are scheduled to play in the Rotary JV Tournament in Oakdale, starting off with a Wednesday, April 4 game against Lincoln of Stockton at 1:45 p.m. and then a Thursday, April 5 game against Buhach Colony at 11 a.m.