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Varsity Cougars Keep Rolling In Trans-Valley League Play
On The Diamond
First baseman Jacob Alvarado stretches to pull down the throw while keeping his foot on the bag to record the out in Wednesday afternoon action against Mountain House. He also drove in the winning run in the contest. Marg Jackson/The Times

One win this week for Escalon’s varsity baseball boys was a nailbiter, the other a blowout.

Both games were against the Mountain House Mustangs and the Cougars needed a late run on Wednesday at home to take a 2-1 victory.

“They threw their ace at us, Julian Sainz, he kept us off balance,” said head coach Greg Largent.

The home team was able to scratch out one run in the third to take a 1-0 lead.

After one out, Parker Cosby singled and stole second, coming home a batter later, scoring on a Justice Naraghi two-out RBI single.

Visiting Mountain House tied the score in the top of the sixth, converting on a leadoff double, a ground out to advance the runner and a fielder’s choice.

“In the bottom of the sixth, we got the run back,” Largent said.

With one out, Naraghi singled and Zach Abraham walked, putting Naraghi in scoring position.

“Jacob Alvarado followed with an RBI single to left field,” explained Largent of the go-ahead run.

Naraghi went the distance on the mound, pitching seven strong innings, allowing one run on five hits, with five strikeouts and four walks.

“We played great defense again, completed two double plays and played errorless baseball,” added Largent.

The Cougars have been able to win this season when they score a few runs and when they score a lot of runs; that has translated into a 6-0 run so far in the Trans-Valley League.

After finding a way to beat Mountain House’s best pitcher, they traveled the next day to face the Mustangs and clobbered their way to a 9-0 victory to notch their six league win of the campaign on Thursday, April 13.

Largent said his players were ready at the plate, facing off against the number two Mustang pitcher.

“He was a hard thrower but we teed off on his fast ball,” Largent said. “We pounded out 11 hits and four of them were extra base hits.”

Escalon scored three in the first, two in the fourth and four in the fifth on the way to the win.

Nick Warren got the start for Escalon and was efficient, needing only 73 pitches to record the win. In seven innings pitched, Warren had five strikeouts and gave up four hits. He did not allow a run or a walk.

“We scored three runs in the first, set the tone early,” Largent noted.

Max Nicholas singled and stole a base, with one out Cosby singled and then Lucca Dutra walked to load the bases. Naraghi got an RBI on a ground out, Abraham then rapped out a two-RBI double.

Two runs in the fourth started with a walk to Abraham and, after two outs, Estephan Salcedo doubled to drive in Abraham and Nicholas followed with an RBI single to score Salcedo.

The visiting Cougars put the game out of reach with a four-run uprising in the fifth.

“They all came with two outs,” Largent said.

Nash Satnat walked, Naraghi singled, Abraham walked and Tanner McCrary reached on an error that allowed a run to score. Salcedo then had a bases clearing triple, giving Escalon a 9-0 lead.

“Estephan had a double, a triple, he was 2-for-3 that game,” said Largent. “Cosby was 2-for-4, Naraghi was 2-for-4 and again, we played great defense and this time turned three double plays.”

The game was one that saw all the Cougar players get involved.

“One of those rare games where everyone does get in,” Largent explained. “It was nice to see the first team guys rooting for the bench guys, just goes to show the great camaraderie we have on this team.”

Escalon’s varsity was slated to play and help host the Mark Dickens Tournament in Oakdale this week, with varsity competition scheduled Monday through Wednesday, April 17 through 19.

Next week, the team will be back in action with a Trans-Valley League game at Modesto Christian on Wednesday, April 26 and then host the Crusaders on Friday, April 28.