Starting off the week with a tie, the next two contests went in the loss column for Escalon’s JV baseball boys.
Head coach Ken Baptista said it was a disappointing week, one in which the team struggled defensively and also saw their pitchers issue too many free passes.
“We were home Wednesday hosting Mountain House and it ended up tied, 5-5, called due to darkness,” Baptista explained. “We were ahead the whole game, we should have won it, we were ahead in the top of the seventh and they rallied with two outs to take the lead, 5-4.”
Escalon did manage to get the tying run across the plate in the bottom of the seventh but missed out on a great chance to win.
“We had the winning run at third with one out and then had two straight strikeouts,” Baptista noted.
Marc-Anthony Valente got the start on the mound and went four innings, giving up one hit and striking out two. Jacob Dugo pitched one-and-two-thirds innings of relief.
“Our defense let us down in this game, we made nine errors,” said Baptista.
Escalon had just five hits in the contest, with Valente, Tyler Medina, Josh Miller and Noah Martins all getting hits. Orion Hoover had a hit and two runs batted in.
Thursday, hosting East Union, the JV boys kept it close through the first few innings, trailing 3-0 after three.
“Josh Miller pitched four innings and he just had bad luck in the fourth due to errors,” Baptista said.
Final score was 11-4 in favor of the visitors in the March 5 game with the pitchers issuing several walks on the afternoon. Escalon put together a strong offensive inning in the fifth, scoring three runs with an RBI single from Medina and a two-RBI single from C.J. Miller.
Friday, the JV boys headed to Patterson for their first road game of the preseason.
“We scored four runs in the first but then they came right back and scored five in the first,” Baptista said.
Escalon had another big inning with three runs in the sixth but ultimately fell short, 13-10.
“Martins, Valente and Austin Ewing had two hits each and Austin had three RBI,” said the coach.
Cougar pitchers issued nine walks that game, giving the host Tigers too many opportunities to score unearned runs.
This week, the JV boys were scheduled to play at Downey on Tuesday, March 10, host Sierra on Wednesday and play at Sonora on Friday.
“We have to put a whole baseball game together,” Baptista said, noting that the offense and defense needs to work collectively, as the team prepares for the upcoming Trans-Valley League season.