By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Summer Baseball Kicks Off For Cougars
Placeholder Image
With seven games under their belts in the first seven days of June, the Cougar summer baseball team has hit the ground running.

The "A" team - primarily made up of current and incoming varsity players - started action on June 1 and closed out the first week with an appearance in the championship game of the Linden Tournament, hosted at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton, claiming the title with a 7-3 win over Franklin of Stockton.

To start off the summer campaign, however, the team had a road game at Hilmar on Monday, June 1, and took a 13-0 win. Varsity head coach Greg Largent of Escalon High leads the summer program as well.

Matt Hudson rapped a double and Matt Valencia and Brandon Shaw each had two hits to pace the offense in the opener.

On June 2, the team hosted Ripon Christian and took a 4-3 win off the home field.

"Spencer Franceschetti had two hits including a two-run homer," said Largent. "Pitching, Patrick Mulry got his first work on the mound in, Spencer Franceschetti was the winning pitcher and Travis Cardoza got the save."

Then it was off to the Linden Tournament, with a doubleheader on Thursday, June 4 and another one on Friday, June 5. All games were played at Billy Hebert Field.

On Thursday, the Cougars shut out St. Mary's of Stockton 2-0 with an RBI double from Aaron Pangilinan and a sacrifice fly by Trevor Doom. Justin Martinez was the winning pitcher; Pangilinan got the save.

Against Linden, it was an 11-1 win, with two hits each from Derrick DeFreitas and Cardoza, with a complete game pitching performance by Valencia. The Cougars scored six runs in the fifth to break the game open.

On Friday, they kicked things off with a 6-1 win over Bear Creek with Shaw going the distance to get the win. Trey Balber had a ground rule double, Spencer Franceschetti had a triple and Hudson notched two hits.

"Then we forged a 5-5 tie with Manteca," Largent said of the final game on Friday.

Escalon tied the game up in their final at-bat, putting them into Sunday's championship game.

"Josh Miguel was 3-for-3 as the leadoff hitter," Largent said of the game against Manteca. "Trey Balber had a double, Shaw had a triple, Matt Hudson was 3-for-3 with a double."

In the championship game on Sunday, the Cougars fell behind when Franklin put three runs on the board in the top of the third on an error and a couple of singles.

"We scored two in the bottom of the third," Largent said, with an RBI single from Spencer Alcantor and singles from Hudson and Gino Franceschetti. The Cougars tied it in the fourth on a double by Balber and an RBI single from Valencia.

In the sixth, they took the lead for good with big hitters including DeFreitas with a double, a two-run single from Shaw and a squeeze play RBI from Alcantor.

Largent said the win pointed out the depth of the summer squad, with four starters gone for the day, the team didn't miss a beat.

"Justin Martinez pitched a complete game and got the win, he settled down after a shaky first couple of innings and did a great job," said Largent. "Seven games this week, the kids are tired but they had a great time and it's a happy tired."

This week, the team heads to the Steve Streeter Memorial Tournament in Modesto with games Wednesday, June 10 through Saturday, June 13. Then they will host the Bob Loureiro Tournament starting Wednesday, June 17 and continuing though Saturday, June 20.

Escalon's games in the tournament are scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 at 4:30 p.m. vs. Modesto; Thursday, June 18 at 4:30 p.m. vs. East Union; Friday, June 19 at 11:30 a.m. vs. Linden and the Saturday game is to be announced.