Starting off their season with a tight 2-1 win, the Escalon JV baseball boys then lost by a lopsided decision in game two. They rebounded with another close win to go 2-1 during the first week of competition.
They opened up at home against Downey on Feb. 22 with Frankie Warren pitching five strong innings and getting the win.
“He bailed us out of a lot of jams,” said head coach Travis Bartelink. “We had quite a few errors.”
Robbie Rickman closed out the game, going two innings, with big hitters including Christian Fernandez, 2-for-2 with an RBI and Adam Roberson notching an RBI double.
Escalon scored one run in the third and one in the fourth, Downey got their single tally in the first inning.
“At Sierra on Feb. 28, we lost 11-2 and I could just tell from the start our heads were not in it, that definitely showed,” Bartelink said of the Thursday road game that saw the young Cougars commit eight errors.
“We just couldn’t do anything defensively,” the coach admitted.
Offense was also lacking, with only a couple of hits, from Wesley Dick and Kash Satnat.
Back on the road Friday, March 1, this time the JV team worked together for the win, defeating Sonora by a 7-5 final. Though it was a win, Warren had to be pulled from the mound in the first inning as a precautionary measure, having trouble with his elbow.
“Caleb Mullen came on and pitched well in his first start,” Bartelink said. “Moises Murga and Jackson Bennett came in also and pitched well to close it out.”
Rickman paced the team offensively, with a 3-for-4 afternoon and an RBI triple. Trevor Van Boven was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“We played much better all the way around,” Bartelink said of Friday’s game when compared to Thursday. “We were just more in the game.”
The JV team has 17 members this season, with a good mix of returning sophomores and new, incoming freshmen. They are still working on the line up, said Bartelink, using the preseason to discover where all the pieces fit the best. They will be back on the field today, March 6, at Linden for a non-league contest.