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Third Place Tournament Showing For JV Boys
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Running into a tough Central Catholic squad on Monday, March 28, the JV Cougar baseball boys came through with a solid effort on Tuesday, taking third place honors at the Orestimba Tournament in Newman.

Two players were named to the All-Tournament Team, Brian French and Cory Severson earning that recognition.

The Monday and Tuesday games followed a 13-1 win for the JV boys in the opener on Saturday, March 26 against Waterford.

"Monday, we ran into a very good Central Catholic team and took an 11-1 loss," said coach Steve French. "We had beaten them the last couple of years so this was a little bit of payback."

Escalon managed just one run on three hits. They had three errors and scored their only run in the fifth inning. Thomas Ray, who reached on a Central Catholic error, came around to score on an infield ground out by Garrett Hawkins. Central had 11 runs on 12 hits with three errors.

Jake Winkler got the start, Brandon Collins came on in relief but Central Catholic had hot bats and took advantage of the Cougar miscues to win the game.

"Tuesday, it rained all the way there, it rained on the way back but miraculously, it was pretty sunny when we played our game," French said of the March 29 contest.

The JV boys met Mariposa in the third place game and came away with a 6-3 victory.

It wasn't easy, though, as the squad dug itself an early hole and had to battle back.

"Mariposa got two runs in the first, one in the second and errors were a big part of it," explained French. "We had three errors in one inning that allowed runs to score."

Faced with the 3-0 deficit after just two innings of play, French said his team showed some resilience, coming on to score two runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the sixth to win the game.

"We regrouped, came back strong, and held Mariposa in check the rest of the way," he noted. "Almost everyone got a hit so we have a very balanced offense."

Escalon had six runs on nine hits, three errors and Mariposa had three runs on seven hits with three errors.

Big bats for the Cougars included Jake Caton, rapping out a two-RBI double, Cory Severson with an RBI double and Atom Garcia with two hits.

"Jimmy Zepeda went the whole way, he scattered seven hits, had two strikeouts and allowed just one earned run, he's really doing a great job for us," said French. "We're 7-4 right now and I want to compliment the entire pitching staff, they are all freshmen and they are ahead of where I anticipated they would be at this point."

Escalon's All Tournament Team selections were picked due to their offense, added the coach. Brian French had a huge day on Saturday against Waterford, including a home run, and had five RBIs for the tournament. Severson has been the most consistent performer for the JV team and was 2-for-2 with a double and single against Waterford, as well as knocking in a run in the third place contest against Mariposa.

This week, the boys are back in the thick of Trans-Valley League action, hosting Hilmar on Wednesday, April 6 and Ripon Christian on Friday, April 8 in 4 p.m. contests.