By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Two wins for baseball, softball sees tough preseason action
E burk 327
Junior Ian Burk dives back safely into first base as the Riverbank pitcher attempts the pick off in Thursday afternoon action, March 21, in Escalon. The Cougars were 11-1 winners. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s varsity baseball boys improved to 4-0 in Trans-Valley Legue play with two wins this past week.

They had the home and away series against Riverbank, playing on the road Tuesday, March 19 and welcoming the Bruins to town on Thursday, March 21. Both games were victories for Escalon.

“We 10-runned them both times,” head coach Gino Franceschetti said of defeating Riverbank.

On the road, it was a 23-2 victory in a five-inning game on Tuesday. It wasn’t quite as lopsided on the home field Thursday, but it was a game that went just to the fifth inning as well, with Escalon taking an 11-1 win.

“Friday, we had a non-league game against Central Valley,” Franceschetti said of facing off with the team from Ceres. “We won that, 3-2. It was a very good team win.”

Against the Bruins in league play, the Cougars used some timely hits, solid pitching and capitalized on a number of Riverbank errors to get the two wins.

Franceschetti said it was a bit different against Central Valley, but the outcome was once again a win.

“Everyone contributed and we had good team at bats,” the coach said. “We didn’t pitch great with no one on but with runners in scoring position we pitched very well.”

Franceschetti said Ian Burk was the highlight of the pitching while Lorenzo Teixeira had a solid week hitting the ball.

“As a sophomore he is starting to get comfortable and finding his way as one of our top hitters on the team,” the coach said of Teixeira.

The Cougars face off this week in a two-game league series against Hughson.



Playing just the Tuesday away game against Riverbank, the contest went just four innings as Escalon’s JV boys upended the host Riverbank JV team, 24-0. Nine runs in the first, seven in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth lifted Escalon to the win. The team rapped out 24 hits to go along with the 24 runs.

Against Central Valley on Friday, it was a 4-2 win for the JV boys, as they scored a single run in the first, two in the second and one more in the fourth. Both of Central Valley’s runs came in the third. Escalon had six hits; Central Valley had five. No errors were committed by the JV Cougars, while Central Valley had one error.



Three non-league games closed out the preseason for Escalon’s varsity softball girls and they had a tough week, dropping all three contests.

They lost at Sonora on March 18 by a 12-2 final.

Madison Babasa went 3-for-4 with a double and Jayci Trimble was 2-for-2 in the loss.

Tuesday, they hosted Calaveras and lost the March 19 game by a 5-4 final.

Babasa again led the team in hits with a 3-for-4 game including an inside the park home run and a double.

“Madi also kept us in the game in the circle, giving up seven hits with two strikeouts,” said head coach Caitlin Brooks.

They traveled to Newman for a Friday, March 22 game and lost there to Orestimba, 22-11.

“Madi started us off by hitting a home run on the first pitch of the game,” Brooks said of the positive start to the Friday contest. “She went 3-for-4 with four RBI.”

Also contributing were Shelby Wilder with a 3-for-4 day with a pair of runs batted in and a double; Violette Kent was 2-for-3 with a home run; Arianna Velasco and Lizzy Allan each went 2-for-4.

“We have girls on our team that are stepping up to pitch for us this season that would normally be playing other positions,” noted Brooks. “They are doing a great job keeping us in each game against a tough preseason schedule.”

Escalon starts Trans-Valley League play this Thursday, March 28 at home against Riverbank.



It was also a three-loss week for the JV girls, though coach Lexy Underwood said there were some highlights for the team as well.

They lost at Sonora, 15-13.

“We had a big first inning, scoring six runs,” Underwood said. “We were very patient at the plate drawing 14 walks.”

Leading hitters were Aniston Hunt with a home run while Chloe Green had three hits and three stolen bases. Hunt also pitched and had seven strikeouts.

Against Calaveras, it was a 17-6 loss.

“Chloe Green started the game and had a total of four strikeouts,” said Underwood. “Aniston Hunt went in for an inning with one strikeout. Mia Bracamontes finished the game, also getting one strikeout.”

Offensively, the team drew six walks, Green went 2-for-2 with one RBI.

At Orestimba to close out the week, it was a 15-4 loss for the JV girls.

The game started out well but ended up going in the loss column.

Hunt was on the mound and notched five strikeouts while allowing only seven hits. Offensively, Tatem Esteves had a triple and Rylee Peavy had a double. Bella Podwinski-Grant, Giana Wilson and Adriana Romero each had a hit.

“Defensively we had a few too many errors that cost the game,” explained Underwood. “The girls are growing and improving each day; looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season takes us.”

adams 327
Though he didn’t slide and the throw got there at almost the same time, Escalon’s Greg Adams was able to step on home plate to score the run before the Riverbank catcher could apply the tag in Thursday play at EHS. The Cougars defeated the Bruins in a pair of Trans-Valley League games this past week. Marg Jackson/The Times