In a dramatic come-from-behind win, the varsity baseball Cougars defeated visiting Sierra on Wednesday, March 1. The final was 7-6 Escalon, the varsity boys battling back after falling behind early to the visitors.
“We played pretty bad for the first five innings,” admitted head coach Greg Largent. “We were making errors, mental mistakes, but we stayed the course.”
Down at one point by a 5-0 margin, the Cougars got one run in the third to make it 5-1. Lucca Dutra notched an RBI single to drive in the first run for Escalon.
Sierra made it 6-1 with a run in the sixth, but the Cougars scored five in the bottom of that inning, batting around and tying the game. Driving in runs were Nash Satnat on a bases loaded walk, Tanner McCrary, Colton Lowney and Parker Cosby on RBI singles and pinch hitter Justin Miranda on a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
“We got through a clean top of the seventh inning defensively,” Largent said, setting the stage for the walk off win.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Satnat walked and Estephan Salcedo went in as a pinch runner. McCrary then worked out a walk to put Salcedo in scoring position.
“Max Nicholas came up and got an RBI single, the game winner, we walked off with a 7-6 win,” Largent said.
Nick Warren got the start and went five innings; Steven Grossi pitched the final two and got the win.
Friday on the road at Patterson it was a different story with the same outcome, the Cougars getting the win but this time in a nail biting 1-0 decision.
“It was very exciting, kind of a playoff atmosphere, it was great,” noted Largent. “It was a pitching duel through five.”
Escalon had chances in the fourth and sixth innings, Patterson mounted threats in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Cougars finally got a run on the board in the seventh.
McCrary was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on an errant pick-off attempt. Nicholas moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt and, after an out, Lowney singled to center to drive in the run.
“Justice Naraghi was the winning pitcher, he went the complete game, threw 100 pitches, struck out 10 and issued two walks, both intentional,” Largent added. “We got great defense from Dutra at third and Grossi at shortstop, while Cosby called a great game behind the plate.”
Both wins came by one run, but in decidedly different fashion.
“Winning two very close games, that’s a good sign,” Largent said.
The boys were scheduled to host Sonora on Tuesday, after The Times went to press. They will host Grace Davis on Wednesday, March 8 and then travel to Livingston for a Friday, March 10 contest.
“It was a very positive week, a good team building week,” noted Largent.
After taking a disheartening 10-0 loss at home on Wednesday, Escalon’s JV baseball boys came back with a vengeance and got a win on the road Friday.
Hosting Sierra out of Manteca in the March 1 game, head coach Ken Baptista said his team battled early, but the game got away from them in the later innings.
“We were in it for four innings but then we made a lot of errors that cost us in the end,” Baptista said.
The JV squad also had a hard time at the plate.
“We only had one hit,” the coach explained.
Pitching well in relief was Devin Roberson, who gave up just one hit in four innings of work.
Baptista said he was a bit concerned about the way the team would come out against Patterson in Friday’s road game, following the tough loss. As it turns out, he didn’t have to worry.
“We committed no errors, we played hard, won 8-2, it was our best game of the season so far,” he noted.
Getting his first start on the mound was Carson George, who went the distance and allowed just two hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and allowed two runs.
“The first hit he gave up was in the sixth,” Baptista said.
Hunter Van Boven as the leadoff hitter set the table, going 3-for-5 and driving in three runs. Daniel Luis was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in; Clayton Ferreira and Garrett Cox also collected hits in the game.
“We’re young but we’re coming along,” Baptista said.