After taking their first loss of the season in a Wednesday game against Manteca, the varsity Cougar baseball team bounced back nicely, blasting Bret Harte 10-0 the next day.
“We didn’t play that poorly,” Escalon head coach Greg Largent said of falling 6-1 to visiting Manteca on March 15. “Justice Naraghi started, he went four innings plus and gave up all six runs, five of them were earned.”
Escalon did get some solid looks at the plate but Largent noted the equally solid effort of the Manteca outfielders, who made several nice plays for putouts, closing the gaps well.
“They scored two in the first, one in the second, one in the fourth and two in the fifth,” explained Largent.
Escalon’s lone run came in the first inning, on a sacrifice fly by Parker Cosby.
Notching hits for the host Cougars were Cosby with a double, Tanner McCrary with a bunt single, Stephen Grossi with a single.
Grossi also pitched two innings in relief, allowing one hit. Cole Gilbert pitched the seventh and worked out of a bases loaded jam without allowing a run.
“Thursday we hosted Bret Harte and we bounced back, won it 10-0 in six innings, we had 10 hits,” Largent said.
Nick Warren got the start and went all six innings, allowing just three hits and striking out five.
“Max Nicholas had a good day in the leadoff spot for us, he went 2-for-4, Cole Gilbert was 2-for-2 with an RBI and Estephan Salcedo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including the game winner,” Largent said. “It’s good to see other guys chipping in, becoming a part of it all.”
The Cougars continue with non-league play this week, then start the Trans-Valley League campaign next week.
They will be on the road at East Union today, Wednesday, March 22 and travel for a game under the lights at Stagg on Thursday, March 23. TVL action will begin at home for the Cougars, when they host Riverbank in a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday, March 29.
Like their varsity counterparts, Escalon’s JV baseball boys split their games this week. They lost by a 13-2 final to a tough Manteca team, then fought their way past Bret Harte, 8-7.
Hosting Manteca on Wednesday, March 15, head coach Ken Baptista said the Buffaloes were “really, really good” and though his team hit the ball fairly well, their pitchers didn’t just have any answers for the visitors.
Hunter Van Boven was 1-for-2 with a double and a run batted in; Brad Hagglund had a double and a run scored; Daniel Luis was 1-for-2 with a run batted in and a run scored.
“Our pitchers were overmatched,” Baptista said. “But we fought with them, we played hard.”
Back on the diamond the next day, the JV boys put the lopsided loss behind them and got a satisfying one-run win over visiting Bret Harte.
The back and forth contest had plenty of action, with some timely hits and solid pitching.
“Anthony LaRossa got the start, he went four-and-a-third innings, struck out four, gave up two earned runs, he was the winning pitcher,” Baptista said. “He also went 1-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.”
Carson George came on to pitch the final two-and-two-thirds innings, getting the save.
Offensively, Ethan Johnson went 1-for-3 and drove in three runs, Luis was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Escalon got out of a jam in the final inning, the Bullfrogs with the tying run at third in the top of the seventh, but the JV Cougars held on for the win.
The squad is on the road for their games this week, heading to East Union for a Wednesday, March 22 match and traveling to Stagg for a game on Thursday, March 23.