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Second place league finish for varsity baseball Cougars
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Getting in to fielding position at first base as the runner takes a lead, Ryan Murphy and the varsity Cougars were in action at Mistlin Park on Thursday, taking on the host Ripon Indians. It was the regular season finale, Ripon handing the Cougars a loss in the contest. Marg Jackson/The Times

Going in to Thursday’s regular season varsity baseball finale on May 2, the Escalon Cougars had a chance to battle for the Trans-Valley League title.

But host Ripon – taking on the Cougars at Mistlin Park – had other ideas and spoiled the party for Escalon, as they defeated the visitors by a 7-3 final.

Earlier in the week, Escalon crafted a 2-0 win at home and had a chance to tie Hughson for the league title with a win on Thursday, or get the title outright if Hughson lost to Hilmar. The Huskies, however, stung the Yellowjackets by a 16-1 final, finishing with an 11-1 record. Escalon, with the loss to Ripon, fell to second place and ended with a 10-2 mark.

“We won the first game against Ripon 2-0. Greg Adams threw a complete game shutout,” said head coach Gino Franceschetti. “We only had two hits but they came after a Ripon error and we capitalized.”

Franceschetti noted that Lorenzo Teixeira executed the offensive play perfectly, “forcing Ripon to make an error while allowing a run to score.”

Then, Adams helped his own cause, ripping a single to right that scored the second run.

“We played really good defense which allowed us to pull off the win,” Franceschetti said.

Thursday, with the chance for at least a share of the title, the coach said they just couldn’t quite get it done.

“We were with them in the fifth and we were able to keep it close but they ended up having some good at bats late in the game to pull away from us,” admitted Franceschetti. “We just made a couple mistakes that Ripon capitalized on.”

Escalon tried to get a rally going in the top of the seventh and had a runner on first when Jamin Miller hit a hard smash that unfortunately was a line drive right back to the pitcher, who caught it and then doubled up the runner who had taken off from first base.

“Players were pretty bummed but it’s a good learning experience going into the playoffs,” Franceschetti said of losing out on a share of the TVL crown.

At 15-11 overall and 10-2 in league, Escalon got the number 5 seed in the Division 5 playoffs and travel to face number four seed Summerville for an opening round game.

“Single game, winner moves on,” Franceschetti said.

Game time is 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 8.

JV players brought up for the playoffs are Max Gonzalez, Cole Elsholz, Cole Fox, Drew Hagan and Andrew Armosino, the coach added.



It was a tough final week in Trans-Valley League play for Escalon’s JV baseball boys. They took a 12-0 loss to the visiting Ripon Indians on Tuesday, April 30. Ripon scored six runs in the first inning and six more in the fourth to take the win; Escalon was held hitless in the contest.

Thursday, at Mistlin Park against Ripon, it was another shutout loss, as the JV Cougars fell by a 9-0 final.

Cole Fox had the only hit of the day for Escalon. The JV Cougar boys also committed two errors. Ripon had nine hits and no errors in taking the win.

They ended up with a 13-12 overall record and went 5-5 in league, said coach Carlos Herrera.

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Escalon’s Mason Fiser gets ready to deliver the pitch to the plate in JV baseball action Thursday on the road against Ripon. Marg Jackson/The Times