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Varsity Baseball, Softball Teams Split TVL Contests
Cougar Sports Wrap
Var celebrate
Cougar Jamin Miller, second from left, accepts congratulations from his teammates as they rush the field following his walk off RBI single to lead the varsity baseball boys to a 5-4 win over Livingston. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s varsity baseball boys got its first league win this week, defeating Livingston in Escalon while the varsity softball girls won on the road but lost at home.

It was an up and down week for both squads, each taking a win and a loss in Trans-Valley League action. Both of the baseball games were against Livingston; the softball girls took on Livingston and Hughson.



It was a final inning walk off win for the host Cougars on Wednesday, March 23 against the visiting Livingston Wolves.

“We played a lot better this week, I was happy with the effort,” said head coach Greg Largent.

The Cougars had a 4-0 lead in the game, but the Wolves got a single run back in the fifth inning and then rallied to tie the contest with three runs in the top of the seventh. But Escalon prevailed, capitalizing on their opportunities in the bottom of the frame to get the winning run across, taking a 5-4 victory.

Escalon took the lead on the strength of a four-run fourth inning, with a double and an RBI from Zack Valencia, a single from Jamin Miller and a fielder’s choice by Josh Miller contributing to the big inning.

“We were hoping for more, we had the bases loaded with no outs,” Largent said, but a strikeout and two ground outs ended the inning and the Cougars had to be satisfied with four runs.

Livingston scored a single run in the fifth to cut it to 4-1, and the Cougars turned a 6-4-3-2 double play in the inning. The throw from short to second caught the runner, 6-4, but the throw from second to first, 4-3, was not in time; however, the throw from first base to home, 3-2, was successful in cutting down a runner trying to score from third.

In the seventh, Livingston, after one out, got a single, double, double and single to score three runs before starting pitcher Mark Valente battled to strike out the next two and get the Cougars in to the dugout with the tie.

In the bottom of the seventh, Nico Franzia doubled to left field to start the inning and, after a strikeout and a line out, he was on third, moving up on a passed ball.

“Jamin Miller then delivered the game-winning RBI single,” Largent said, with many of his teammates rushing to first base to mob him in the walk off win.

Valente went the distance, pitching seven innings and striking out eight, walking none.

“It was a 99-pitch performance and we committed no errors,” Largent said.

Valencia was 3-for-4 on the day, Jamin Miller was 2-for-4.

Friday, the boys traveled to Livingston and lost by a final of 11-5, but got three of those runs in their final at-bat, continuing a week of gritty, determined play.

“We were in trouble early, we gave up four runs in the first,” said Largent.

Lefty starter Parker Saunders, a sophomore, actually had four strikeouts in the first inning as well, with one on a wild pitch curveball that got away and allowed the runner to get to first even though it was technically a strikeout.

Escalon scored two runs in the fourth, on a two-run triple from Josh Fiore.

Livingston added two runs in the fourth to go up 6-2 and then scored five in the sixth to extend the lead to 11-2.

“In the seventh we were able to score three runs,” Largent noted. “We got eight guys up in the inning and it ended on a controversial double play where we felt our player was safe.”

Regardless, the coach said he was encouraged to see the team fight to the end and never give up. Keys in the frame were singles by Franzia and Valente as well as a sacrifice fly from Valencia.

Saunders went three innings, striking out six and walking five. Jamin Miller pitched two-and-a-third innings, Zack Valencia pitched two-thirds of an inning.

“We had nine hits to Livingston’s eight but we committed five errors,” Largent said of still needing to clean up the defense.

Escalon hosts Riverbank in TVL play on Wednesday, March 30 and goes to Riverbank on Friday, April 1. They also will play a 10 a.m. non-league game Saturday on the road at Linden.



On the road for a league game on Tuesday, March 22 the varsity Lady Cougars came away with a 13-0 victory in a game that went just five innings.

“Brooke Davis pitched a perfect game, allowing no base runners,” said head coach Jeff Borden. “Tulsa Carnes led the offense with a grand slam home run.”

Lucy Allbaugh, Faye Hernandez, Grace Spurgeon, Madison Hagglund and Soleil Gouzenne all contributed hits as well.

Thursday, the girls were at home to host Hughson and took a tough loss, 3-1, to the visiting Lady Huskies.

“Brooke pitched another great game but we left nine runners on base and had nine fly outs,” Borden explained. “Hughson’s outfield played a great game and they did what the needed to win.”

Escalon had just five hits on the day and could not get the timely hit when they needed it against Hughson.

Collecting the hits were Tulsa Carnes, Shelby Wilder, Grace Spurgeon, Madison Hagglund and Soleil Gouzenne.

The girls will look to get a couple of wins this week; they were scheduled to be at Hilmar on Tuesday, March 29 and host Modesto Christian on Thursday, March 31.



Escalon track and field athletes traveled to compete at Ripon on Wednesday, March 23. The team scores were: Girls, Ripon 114.5 Escalon 20.5; Boys, Ripon 100 Escalon 36.

“Although we had many individual successes, there is no denying that both Ripon’s girls and boys teams are strong and performed well on the track and field,” said head coach Carrie Nash. “Overall our team is young and inexperienced but they are learning and making progress. We are happy to be back in the TVL competing in what finally feels like a normal season.”

Individual highlights:

Girls – 100m- 1st Cali Granis 13.23, 2nd Alyssa Ball 13.46, 3rd Alondra Gonzalez 13.91, and 4th Sammy Lang13.92; 400m- 3rd Jill Junquiero 74.24; 1600m- 6th Kathy Romero 6:29.07, 7th Megan Fahey 6:29.47; 3200m- 5th Megan Fahey 14:42.16.

100m hurdles- 4th Sammy Lang 20.38, 5th Katelyn Rodrigues 20.57; 300m hurdles- 3rd Samantha Hagan 57.70.

High Jump- 4th Emma Berchtold 4'.0", 4th Charlotte Shaddix 4'0'; Long Jump- 1st Sammy Lang 15'09".5, 3rd Cali Granis 14'11".25, 5th Analise Silveira 14'9".5.

Shot Put- 2nd Haylee Barajas 30'01", 3rd Julia Warsing 28'07", 4th Anya Peeples 27'06"; Discus- 5th Haylee Barajas 76'08".

Boys – 400m-1st Owen Nash 54.24.

300m hurdles- 4th Julian Gonzales 49.86.

High Jump- 1st Owen Nash 5'10"; Long Jump- 1st Logan Anderson 19'04", 2nd Preston Ball 18'11'.75; Triple Jump- 2nd Preston Ball 37'10.5".

Shot Put- 1st Preston Ball 40'01", 3rd Casey Vassallo 36'11", 5th Victor Romero 35'03; Discus- 1st Preston Ball 117'08.5", 2nd Stephen Percy 113' 08.5", 3rd Victor Romero 99 '01".

The team travels to Hilmar on Wednesday, March 30 for its second league meet. Saturday, April 2 some of the team will compete in Pacific Grove at their annual Rotary Invitational.



On Thursday, March 24, Riverbank High School hosted the TVL golf tournament at La Contenta Golf Course.

“Escalon played well enough to secure second for the second week in a row,” noted head coach Dale Clayton

Scores were: Kaden Schrotenboer 86, TJ McNeil 90, Ben Millard 91, Bryce McKenzie 93, Jacob Dugo 110, and Chris Vidales 123. Total score for the Cougars was 470 after taking five out of the six scores. Ripon High School was first with a score of 415, followed by Escalon second, Livingston third, Hughson fourth, Hilmar fifth and Riverbank sixth.

The Cougars’ next match is Thursday, March 31 at River Oaks Golf Course hosted by Hughson High School.



No information was available for the team’s contests this week at press time; look for a recap of recent matches and photos in the April 6 issue.

Dugo score
Coming in to score the only run of the day for the varsity Lady Cougars on Thursday, March 24 was Brittany Dugo, as Escalon hosted but fell to the Lady Huskies of Hughson, 3-1. Marg Jackson/The Times