Plenty of action on the baseball diamond for the summer squad of the Cougars wrapped up this past week.
The ‘A’ team – primarily those that will be suiting up for the varsity team next season – took part in four different tournaments.
“It was a good learning experience, especially for those incoming juniors, to get them up to varsity speed,” explained Escalon varsity baseball head coach Greg Largent. “We also had a couple of sophomores up and we saw some good things, for the most part we did pretty well.”
For their 16 games this summer, the team compiled a record of seven wins and nine losses.
“Only two of the 16 we weren’t really in the game,” Largent said, noting that the squad was competitive.
It was also a situation where coaches never quite knew who would be able to suit up.
“We had 18 on the roster and there was only one game where we had everyone there,” noted Largent. “The kids are pulled in so many directions, there was football, vacation, working, basketball.”
So it was a mix and match of putting line ups together for any given day but the players came together.
“We saw some very positive things,” Largent said.
Part of the summer season is to get players to attack the game and not be apprehensive, the coach noted. Instead of being afraid to make mistakes, he said the mindset is to learn by doing. If that means learning from your mistakes, so be it.
Tournaments included the Downey Kickoff Tournament the first week of the season, followed by tournaments at Enochs, Johansen and then playing the final tournament at Downey with the last game of the tourney at Turlock.
“The nice thing was that we beat Merced 17-2 in our final game on Thursday,” Largent said. “They finally put it all together.”
Sophomores brought up for the summer were Bryce McPherrin and Luke Anderson. Incoming juniors that saw some playing time were Clay Evans, Noah Rast, Brad Hagglund, Roman Gonzales, Clayton Ferreira, Ethan Johnson, Dylan Ruiz and Zach Hearn. Sophomore Cameron Maruyama joined the team late in the summer, filling in at catcher. Returning players that stayed busy on the diamond and had the chance to play multiple innings were Anthony LaRossa, Daniel Luis, Carson George, Carson Grogan, Devin Roberson, Nash Satnat and Cole Gilbert.
Largent said they were “able to throw some kids into the fire” to see how they performed under pressure, looking ahead to filling some roles at the varsity level next year.
“Overall it was a good experience,” Largent said.
B Team Finale
The younger baseball squad, primarily the JV boys and known as the ‘B’ team, closed out their summer season with an appearance in the Modesto Tournament.
“The boys battled throughout the week,” said head coach Ken Baptista.
The team took on Pitman, Modesto, Enochs and Riverbank.
“Against Pitman it was close for four innings but then our physical errors caught up with us,” Baptista said. “The game against Modesto was close, the Enochs game was one-sided, they won via the 10-run rule and on Thursday, we played at Riverbank.”
That game saw the Escalon team jump out to the lead with a big second inning, scoring seven runs. But they were unable to hold the advantage and fell to Riverbank by a 12-8 final in the season finale.
Baptista noted that the summer was a good learning experience for all the players and he was pleased with the effort they showed on the diamond.