By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Varsity baseball wins two, varsity softball splits pair
Diamond play
417 Lorenzo
Settling in at the plate, Lorenzo Teixeira waits for the delivery from the pitcher in action at home in earlier Trans-Valley League play. The varsity Cougars were winners at home and away this past week against Hilmar. Marg Jackson/The Times

Putting a couple more Trans-Valley League wins on the books, Escalon took down Hilmar in a pair of varsity baseball contests this week.

They were at Hilmar on April 9 and won by a 10-1 final, then shut out the Yellowjackets on Thursday, April 11 behind a near no-hitter from Greg Adams.

First, though, it was time for Ian Burk to shine, as he went six strong innings on Tuesday, allowing just one run. He had 10 strikeouts and no walks, said head coach Gino Franceschetti.

“Our team had no errors,” Franceschetti added. “Anytime you get those numbers from the defensive side, you are going to win a lot of games.”

Escalon got two runs in the first and two in the third.

“It was a close game all the way through to the fifth inning, then Nico Franzia hit a three-run home run to deliver the knockout punch,” said Franceschetti. “After that, we were able to score three more runs to finish them off.”

Franzia went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a home run; Jackson Runnels went 2-for-4 and Lorenzo Teixeira was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Josh Fiori was 1-for-1 with a run driven in and three walks.

“Thursday, Greg Adams had a no hitter going into the seventh and gave up a hit to the first batter,” explained the coach. “It was his best pitching performance of the year. Anytime we have Greg on the mound you know we have a really good chance of winning.”

Escalon scored six runs in the first two innings, setting the tone early.

“Once that happened it was pretty much over,” Franceschetti agreed.

Runnels went 2-for-4 with three RBI; Jamin Miller, Fiori, Franzia and Teixeira each had a hit.

“The boys are continuing to play well. A lot of team at bats, pitchers are throwing strikes, and defense is playing the best it has been,” Franceschetti said. “No matter who we are playing, the boys have been bringing the energy and embracing one game at a time.”

Franceschetti said the improvement from preseason to now hasn’t come by accident.

“I want to give my coaches a lot of credit,” he said. “Matt Valencia and Brent Montgomery have taken our pitches to a new level. Bill Grogan keeps the boys loose and playing with freedom. We are going to continue to work hard and put ourselves in a position to win the TVL.”

This week, the varsity takes on Buhach Colony in non-league play; they were scheduled to travel to Atwater for a game on Tuesday, April 16 and will host Buhach Colony on Thursday, April 18.



After dropping a disappointing game to Hilmar on Tuesday, April 9, Escalon’s JV baseball boys came back with a strong effort on the home field Thursday, April 11.

“They came to play,” head coach Carlos Herrera said of the Thursday home contest.

The final score was 6-3 Escalon.

Hilmar jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but Escalon answered back with four of their own in the bottom of the frame to take the 4-2 lead. They never trailed after that point.

They plated two more runs in the second to go up 6-2; Hilmar added one run in the fifth for the final score of 6-3. Escalon had five hits on the night to Hilmar’s three.

“Cole Fox and Zach Langum pitched well, they had 11 strikeouts between them,” Herrera said.



Escalon’s varsity softball girls fell at home to open their week, but then got a win on the road.

They hosted Hilmar on Wednesday, April 10 and fell to the visiting Yellowjackets by a 16-3 final.

“Out bats didn’t show up as much as we needed them to that game,” said head coach Caitlin Brooks. “Madison Babasa pitched for us. Lizzy Allan, Violette Kent and Jayci Trimble each had an RBI.”

It was a much better outcome for the varsity girls on Friday. They traveled to Hughson for the April 12 game and came away with an 11-7 victory.

“Shelby Wilder started on Friday and pitched a great game for us,” Brooks said. “She kept the Hughson hitters off balance which gave us an opportunity to let our offense do the work.”

Several players for the Lady Cougars had multiple hits in the win. Arianna Velasco was 2-for-3 with two runs driven in; Babasa was 3-for-5; Kent went 2-for-4. Allan had a pair of hits in five plate appearances and drove in two runs, Jessy Kessler went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

The girls are to play at Ripon on April 17 and host Livingston on April 19.



The JV Lady Cougars fell in both their games this past week, battling Hilmar to a 17-10 decision and then falling by a wide margin to Hughson, 13-1.

Against Hilmar, Chloe Green got the start on the mound and allowed just two hits but gave up five runs. Offensively, she was 2-for-2 and drove in five herself, with one of her hits a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning that kept the game going.

“We began to come back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five runs on four hits,” said head coach Lexy Underwood.

One run scored on an error, while Bella Podwinski Grant scored two with a double and Tatem Esteves drove in one run with a double of her own. Green singled to drive in another run. Still, the comeback fell a bit short.

“As a team we continue to grow; as of now we are working on minimizing walks and passed balls,” Underwood said.

In the road loss to Hughson on Friday, the host Lady Huskies had just six hits but took the 13-1 win.

“They were able to come out with a win,” Underwood said. “We struggled at the plate, not producing any hits this game. Our pitchers were doing what they had to do to produce routine plays for our defense but it just wasn’t happening on either side of the field for us.”

Mia Bracamontes, Chloe Green and Aniston Hunt all saw time on the mound for Escalon in the game.

“We are looking forward to this week and coming out strong against Ripon and Livingston,” noted Underwood.

417 Madison
Escalon’s Madison Babasa winds up and gets ready to deliver the pitch in a recent home Trans-Valley Lague game. The Lady Cougars split their games this past week, losing to Hilmar but defeating Hughson. Marg Jackson/The Times