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Varsity Baseball Boys Back In TVL Title Chase
Two huge must-win games went in the books as wins for Escalon's varsity baseball team, as the Cougars planted themselves firmly in the running, not just for a postseason berth, but also for the league title.

"We couldn't ask for any more for this week," a happy coach Greg Largent said of the back-to-back wins over front-running Hughson. Now the standings are bunched, with Hughson still leading at 8-3, but Escalon, Ripon and Ripon Christian all knocking at the door at 7-4.

Tuesday, the Cougars hosted Hughson and battled the Huskies to a 10-inning 6-5 win, a game that was marked by more than one Cougar comeback.

Escalon took the lead with two runs in the second, Hughson tied it in the top of the fourth and the teams went to extra innings knotted at two.

"Jimmy Zepeda did a great job, he went seven innings and had 11 strikeouts, four walks and allowed four hits," Largent said of his starter. His pitch count was getting up there, so we brought in Charlie McDonald."

Hughson scratched one run across the plate in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead.

Escalon answered back in the bottom of the frame.

"With one out, Leighton Pangilinan walked, Jake Caton singled and Derrick DeFreitas was hit by a pitch," Largent said. "That loaded the bases and Nick Largent brought a run in with a ground out to make it 3-3."

In the ninth, Hughson again took a lead, 4-3, and once again, Escalon was able to answer back with a run.

Pangilinan drove in Spencer Franceschetti with a single after Franceschetti reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. That made it 4-4.

In the tenth, Hughson again rallied for a run, taking a 5-4 lead after getting a double and a single with two outs.

For the final time, Escalon came up to bat and pushed two runs across the plate for the thrilling 6-5 win.

"Caton doubled and moved to third on a ground out to short by DeFreitas," Largent said. "Nick Largent then singled to drive in Caton."

That tied the score and, with one out, Thomas Ray singled, Jake Winkler bunted down the third base line and Nick Aprile's drive to deep center field proved to be the game winner, brining in the winning run.