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Varsity Baseballs Whirlwind Pace For Summer
Catcher Parker Cosby is shown here checking for the sign during an at-bat during the regular baseball season. He was among the players that took part in a busy summer schedule that saw the Cougars play 15 games during a roughly three-week stretch in June. Marg Jackson/The Times

Completing a hectic summer campaign, Escalon’s ‘A’ team – primarily made up of returning and anticipated incoming varsity baseball players – got in a total of 15 games in just over three weeks.

“The boys got a taste of what it’s like to play nearly every day,” said head coach Greg Largent. “We had a few tournaments, a couple of doubleheaders.”

The team had a busy June, with all their games scheduled in that month. They went 6-8-1 over the course of the 15-game schedule.

“We were competitive at times but we never had the same line-up twice,” noted Largent. “With kids on summer vacation, at the fair, football … they were coming in and out all the time.”

A bonus of the summer season, he added, is the free substitutions, allowing players to move in and out of the line up during the game and allowing coaches to give more in-game instruction.

“We could change up the defense, coach on the fly,” said Largent.

The coach said many incoming juniors benefited from the intense summer schedule.

“Guys like Max Nicholas, Tanner McCrary, Steven Grossi, they all had some good moments,” noted Largent.

He also praised the work of incoming senior Jacob Alvarado.

“He had a great summer at first base, really improved,” Largent said.

Also getting high marks for their efforts were incoming sophomores Luca Dutra and Cole Gilbert, both of whom joined the varsity for the playoffs last season.

“We also had the chance to see guys like Nash Satnat, Anthony LaRossa, Devin Roberson, Hunter Van Boven and Noah Rast,” Largent said of underclassmen who had the opportunity to get in a lot of work this summer, as Escalon had three teams in action early on.

The ‘C’ team of incoming freshmen played a shortened schedule, then folded in to join the ‘B’ team of mainly junior varsity players. They had a solid season as well, with some of those players getting a chance late in the summer schedule to play with the ‘A’ team.

“It really was a whirlwind of a summer,” agreed Largent. “The ‘B’ team played in the championship of a couple of tournaments.”

For the ‘A’ team, Parker Cosby was solid behind the plate and also helped guide some younger catchers, while the pitchers got in valuable innings of work. The varsity squad will need to replace the starting duo of Jackson Bennett and Robby Rickman for next season and the summer schedule gives Largent and assistant coaches a good chance to assess what they have.

Escalon’s summer featured victories against Merced, Enochs, Sonora and Beyer, among others.

“Against Beyer, we got a come from behind victory, we scored three in the bottom of the seventh and walked off a winner,” Largent said.

Nick Warren pitched well during the summer and overall, Largent said coaches were pleased with what they saw.

“It was a very successful summer,” the coach agreed. “There’s promise. Fifteen games in about 24 days … that gives the kids the opportunity to get better.”