By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Perfect Run - Trans-Valley League Crown For Varsity Baseball Cougars
After putting a 10-0 win on the board against Gregori in a make-up game on Monday, the Escalon varsity baseball Cougars got down to business wrapping up a perfect Tans-Valley League campaign.

They were winners at home against Modesto Christian on Tuesday, May 8 and closed out the regular season with a win on the road at MC on Thursday.

They won 12-2 in six innings on Tuesday.

"We had a great first inning, scored five runs," explained coach Greg Largent. "Our first four batters reached safely, on a couple of hits, a couple of walks, and then Trey Balber had a three-run homer to right center field."

The Cougars made it 7-0 in the second with two walks, an error and a fielder's choice and it looked like they might 10-run the visiting Crusaders to go just five innings, adding three more in the fourth.

"Patrick Mulry doubled and after an out, Robbie Steves walked, Balber had a double for an RBI and then Jake Hood had an RBI single," said Largent.

A fielder's choice brought in the third run to make it 10-0 Escalon.

But MC did not go quietly, getting a run in the fifth on a walk, sacrifice bunt and a single to make it 10-1. The Crusaders also got one more in the sixth, on an error, a wild pitch and a single.

That made it 10-2 but the Cougars got the 10-run win in the bottom of the sixth.

Steves walked, Balber singled and after a passed ball, Steves scored on a fielder's choice. Balber, who made it to third on the passed ball, scored on a wild pitch to "deliver the knockout blow," said Largent.

Escalon had 12 runs on nine hits with two errors. Modesto Christian had two runs on five hits and two errors.

Matt Valencia went four innings for the win, allowing one hit and striking out eight. Matt Roberson pitched two innings in relief.

"It was our Senior Day, the last game at home and all the seniors came through," Largent said. "Trey had three hits and four RBIs, Jake Hood was 2-for-2, Josh Vandagriff had an RBI, Josh Miguel, Gino Franceschetti and Patrick Mulry all had hits."

On Thursday, the team went to Modesto Christian and got a 10-4 win, with a two-run triple from Valencia in the first inning getting the Cougars the early lead. He also scored on a passed ball and Phillip Kimble had an RBI single in that inning. MC got one run in the first but the Cougars came back with another run in the second on an RBI single from Valencia, knocking in Miguel, who led off with a single.

In the fourth, Franceschetti brought in Jake Hood with a sacrifice fly, after Hood got on with a walk, took second on a passed ball and moved to third on a ground out.

The Crusaders kept chipping away with a run here and there, but Escalon continued to add them as well, an RBI single from Steves in the fifth and RBIs from Franceschetti on a double and Tad Dimas on a single in the seventh.

Escalon had 10 runs on eight hits and an uncharacteristic four errors, while MC had four runs on three hits with three errors.

Brent Montgomery went five innings and allowed three hits while striking out seven for the win, Nathan Chunn got two innings of relief work in, allowing no hits and striking out two.

"That put us at 12-0 in the TVL, 23-1-1 going into the playoffs," Largent said.

The Cougars claimed the Trans-Valley league crown and head into the postseason as the number one seed. They will start the playoffs on Thursday evening at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton, with a 7 p.m. game time against the winner of the 'play in' game between Mother Lode League three seed Bret Harte and Golden Empire League third seed Lindhurst.