Running their preseason record to 7-0, the Escalon varsity baseball team notched three more wins this week.
They were home for two and on the road for one, with all going into the win column. Cougar pitchers also tossed three complete games for the week.
On Tuesday, March 7 they were home to host Sonora and took a 6-2 victory.
“Nick Warren got the complete game win, he allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one,” said head coach Greg Largent.
Offensively, the home team used a combination of their hits and their opponents’ miscues to take a lead.
“We scored all six of our runs in the second inning,” Largent said.
A hit batter, some walks and errors set the table, with big hits coming from Colton Lowney and Lucca Dutra, each with RBI singles.
Sonora got two runs in the fourth but did not get any closer.
“We played good defense and we took advantage of four Sonora errors,” noted Largent.
Hosting Grace Davis on Wednesday, the Cougars steamrolled the visitors in five innings.
“We had seven walks, seven batters hit by pitches,” Largent said.
There were also some timely hits but the real story of the game was the work by starting pitcher Steven Grossi.
“He had a no-hitter, went just one hitter over the minimum,” Largent said, with Grossi allowing just one walk on the day.
The winning pitcher was also the offensive star, going 2-for-3 with a double and five RBIs, with a two-run double, two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
Other keys hitters were Lowney, two hits and two RBIs; Parker Cosby, two hits and two RBIs; Dutra with two runs batted in and Justice Naraghi with a pair of doubles.
“Lowney made a nice play to preserve the no-hitter in the fourth and all 14 kids got in the game,” Largent added.
Friday night, the Cougars faced off with Livingston on the road and won it, 10-0, in five innings.
Max Nicholas got things started leading off, battling his way on with a walk following a nine-pitch at bat. He then stole a base and came in to score on a Cosby RBI single. Dutra followed with a two-run homer to left field, Naraghi doubled, Cole Gilbert walked and both moved up on a passed ball. Naraghi scored on a Jake Alvarado sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Another run in the third and four in the fourth made it a 9-0 Cougar lead. Cosby had an RBI single, Dutra a two-run single and Naraghi a sacrifice fly to score the runs in the fourth.
“Livingston is a much better team than the score indicates,” Largent said. “I think we just came out and shell shocked them.”
Capping the scoring in the fifth, Nash Satnat and Tanner McCrary each got on with a walk, moved up on an out, then Satnat scored on a Lowney sacrifice fly.
The Cougars played error free ball again, backing up Naraghi on the mound. He threw just 84 pitches in the five-inning win, striking out eight and allowing four hits.
“It was a nice week,” Largent summed up, with the Cougars outscoring their opponents 33-2 over the three games.
Action this week has the varsity boys at home for a pair of contests, hosting Manteca on Wednesday, March 15 and Bret Harte on Thursday, March 16. Both games will start at 4 p.m.
The JV boys won one of three games this week, taking a come-from-behind win at home against Davis. Starting off the week, they lost a tough one, 8-7, to Sonora on Tuesday.
“Anthony LaRossa got the start, he pitched pretty well, just threw too many pitches,” head coach Ken Baptista said.
The bullpen could not hold the lead, with Sonora scoring three runs in the seventh to pull ahead.
LaRossa went five innings, allowing four hits and striking out four.
“He was also 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored,” Baptista said. “He was our best player that day.”
Daniel Luis and Clayton Ferreira each had one hit in the loss as the JV team was held to just four hits total.
Against Davis the next day, the young Cougars turned the tables.
“We scored five runs in the seventh and won 9-8,” the coach said.
Zach Hearn pitched one inning in relief, his first high school appearance, and got the win.
Hunter Van Boven was 1-for-3 with three runs batted in, including the game winner. That came on a bases loaded walk-off walk in the bottom of the seventh.
Noah Rast was the starting pitcher and was 1-for-3, Austin Terra and Carson George also collected hits.
Friday, the JV team fell by an 8-1 final on the road at Livingston. Battling early, Baptista said the game got away from his team when the host JV Wolves scored four runs in the fifth inning.
George took the loss, allowing five runs in three-and-two-thirds innings.
The JV team has had trouble finding the right middle relief so far this season and those woes continued on the road. They did notch five hits but got just one run across the plate.
Hits came from Ethan Johnson, Hunter Van Boven, Daniel Luis, Noah Rast and Garrett Cox.
“So we went 1-2 for the week but were in all the games and we fought back against Davis,” Baptista said of seeing some improvement. “If we can get consistent middle relief, we’ll be fine.”
The JV boys also have two homes games this week, each starting at 4 p.m., hosting Manteca on Wednesday, Bret Harte on Thursday.