By MARG JACKSON
Escalon’s varsity baseball boys had to forego their traditional trip to the coast over the weekend – too much rain would have washed out their entire schedule – but they did get a couple of hastily arranged contests in this week.
The varsity softball girls, meanwhile, also got on the field for some games before their schedule was rain-shortened.
Varsity baseball head coach Greg Largent said though players were disappointed to not make the trip to the coast, they would have spent the entire time in a hotel room instead of on the baseball diamond.
“We did have a regular game with Sierra on Wednesday and were able to get one scheduled with Enochs on Thursday,” Largent said.
They traveled to Manteca for the game at Sierra on March 2 and came away with a 7-1 win.
“Robert Rickman went six strong innings, he allowed three hits, had eight strikeouts, allowed one walk and no runs,” Largent said.
Escalon jumped on Sierra in the second inning, scoring four runs on a series of Timberwolves miscues including four walks, two errors, a passed ball, a hit batter and a fielder’s choice.
“We batted around that inning,” Largent explained.
The Cougars added three more in the sixth on a double by Trevor Van Boven, an infield single by Dustin Lawrence and an RBI single from Parker Cosby.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sierra used four consecutive singles to get a run, roughing up Justice Naraghi in a relief role, but the Cougars held on to get the win.
Dylan Azevedo had a strong day, getting on base with a hit, two walks and a fielder’s choice. Cosby and Rickman were each 2-for-4.
Hosting Enochs on Thursday, Escalon fell 9-6 and made mental errors that the visitors took advance of, noted Largent. Dustin Lawrence pitched three innings, Jackson Bennett pitched two and Alec Beltran pitched two.
“They got us for 16 hits,” Largent said of his pitchers having difficulty on the afternoon. “We did cut it in the sixth, came back and made it 8-6, we made a game of it, we just shot ourselves in the foot early on.”
Rickman was 2-for-4 with an RBI; Zack Abraham was 2-for-3; Lawrence had a double and an RBI; JoJo Dutra had a hit and an RBI.
This week, weather permitting, the Cougars will have three games, hosting Linden on Wednesday, March 9; playing at Enochs on Thursday and then hosting Manteca on Friday.
A 4-3 road win for Lady Cougars varsity softball on Tuesday at Linden started off the week, the girls battling for the victory.
Head coach Art Brooks said his team scored one run in the first, two in the third and one in the fifth. Linden countered with two in the third and one in the seventh, when they loaded the bases.
Mackenzie Duval reached on an error and stole second, Natalie Arnold reached on a single and Chardae Hoskins had a hit and an RBI to get Escalon on the board. Linden errors helped Escalon put two more in the books in the third, while the fifth saw Ashley Duval lead off with a double, move to third on a fielder’s choice and come home to score on a double steal after sister Mackenzie got on with a walk.
“Molly Brown pitched, she went six innings, then Chardae came in with nobody out and the bases loaded, she got the first hitter to hit a double play ball, then got the final out on a ground out,” Brooks said.
An appearance at the Rainbow Tournament just outside Riverbank at Rainbow Fields saw them take an 11-3 win over Buhach Colony in their opening round game on Thursday. It went five innings. Hailie Webster was 3-for-3, Mackenzie Duval had two hits, as did Arnold, Hoskins, Ashley Duval and Cindy DeFreitas. One hit each came from Haylie Corriea and Nicole Luis. Hoskins was the winning pitcher, striking out four and allowing three hits.
Game two on Thursday saw Escalon take a 5-1 win over Beyer.
“Molly Brown (11 strikeouts) was the winning pitcher, she did a great job mixing her pitches and hitting spots,” Brooks said.
Aggressive base running and timely hits helped Escalon jump out with a run in the first and four in the second.
“It was a real team effort,” Brooks added.
Starting out strong at 2-0, that was as far as Escalon got as their Saturday games were washed out.