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Varsity Boys Claim League Baseball Crown
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Wins on the road and at home sealed up a 13-1 mark in the Trans-Valley League for Escalon's varsity baseball boys, bringing first-year head coach Greg Largent and his troops the TVL title.

"Wednesday at Patterson, it was a 5-2 victory," said Largent. "We scored in the first inning, with two outs, Ross Brayton got a single, Peter Krumeich singled and then Phil Parrish had an RBI single."

The Cougars added two more runs in the third, two in the fourth, with Patterson scratching out two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

In the third inning, with one out, Scott Sand reached on an error and Brayton singled. Krumeich hit a fly ball to left that got caught in the wind and allowed Sand to score. Parrish then singled to drive in another run.

Fourth inning action saw Jared August draw a one out walk, followed by an Anthony Suniga double and a two-RBI single from Grant Goedhart.

Patterson scored their only run on an error and back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh.

"They were a little tight going in to the last inning," Largent said of his players, who knew they would clinch the TVL title with a win.

After loading the bases, Patterson got the two runs in but Krumeich got the final out by striking out the Tiger hitter.

Krumeich went the distance, scattering six hits and allowing two runs. He walked six and struck out 11.

"That put us at 12-1 and clinched sole possession of the championship," Largent said.

Parrish was 2-for-3 on the day with two RBIs, Brayton was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, Krumeich was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Goedhart was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

Friday, the boys were at home to close out the regular season and hosted Riverbank. They won the game, 3-0, to keep the momentum up going into the playoffs.

"We started all the seniors, Brian Beeman, Anthony Suniga, Peter Krumeich, Joey Pinasco, Grant Goedhart and Colin Riggs," said Largent. "Going in we decided to start them all, that's customary, and we got everyone in, we got a lot of guys playing time."

Largent said the contest was an old-fashioned one, with only a handful of hits.

"Grant threw a quiet one-hitter," he added. "They had an infield hit in the fourth, Peter made an outstanding attempt at what would have been a terrific play, unfortunately it was Riverbank's fastest runner and he beat it out."

For the Cougars, they hit the ball hard but squandered some scoring opportunities, with one big hit accounting for all three runs.

"In the fifth inning, Brian Beeman walked, Scott Sand reached on an infield single on a bunt attempt," Largent explained. "Ross Brayton came up and I told him he had one chance to swing away before we needed to bunt the runners over and he hit the first pitch out of the park...I guess he didn't want to bunt."

The three-run homer provided all the support Goedhart would need in the win.

"It was nice for Ross," Largent said of the power surge. "He has worked so hard, has really come on in the second half and carried us, he has a lot of multiple hit games and he has raised his average to .450 in league, .426 overall."

Goedhart struck out 10 and walked one in allowing just one hit over the seven innings of work.

Escalon had six hits on the day, including a 2-for-2 effort with a run scored from Sand and 2-for-3 from Steve Largent, Brayton was 1-for-3 with a run scored and three RBIs, Beeman was 1-for-2 with a run scored.

The pair of league wins put Escalon at 13-1 in TVL action, 21-4 overall.

"That's the first league title since 1991," Largent noted, adding that the team posed with the 'TVL Champs' banner following the game and then put it up on the outfield fence.

Largent served as assistant coach the past few years under Bob Loureiro and took over as head coach this season.

"It's a good start," he said.

The boys continue on to the postseason, opening up the playoffs at Tony Zupo Field in Lodi at noon on Saturday, May 21.

"We play Marysville, which is the number three seed in the Golden Empire League," Largent said of their opponent. "This first round is huge because it's a single elimination, in the second round it's two out of three."

Along with Escalon, TVL teams heading to the playoffs are Livingston, which will face Golden Empire League number two seed Pioneer, and Ripon, taking on Mother Lode League number one seed Linden.