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Varsity Cougars Shut Out Hilmar
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Working out a 4-0 win Wednesday on the home field, the Trans-Valley League victory for the varsity Cougars turned out to be their only game of the week.

Bad weather, with rain Thursday and Friday, forced postponement of Friday's home game with Ripon Christian.

The temperature also plummeted, with a high of 77 recorded Wednesday as the Cougars hosted the Hilmar Yellowjackets, dropping down to a high of 57 degree with more than two-thirds of an inch of rain on Friday.

Head coach Greg Largent said he was pleased with the team's outing on Wednesday, but, like his players, is getting frustrated with the inconsistent weather.

"We had a great performance by Peter (Krumeich) on the mound, he gave up just two hits and had 12 strikeouts," noted Largent. "He's just been phenomenal lately, given up just five hits in the last three games he's pitched."

Escalon had four runs on seven hits and played flawlessly in the field. Hilmar managed just two hits and had two errors on the day as well.

In the third inning, the Cougars put a run on the board. Scott Sand reached on a fielders choice and Justin Chandley was hit by a pitch. That put runners on first and second and Brian Beeman hit a grounder up the middle, fielded deep in the hole. Hilmar forced out Chandley at second but the throw to first was wide, allowing Sand to score.

They struck again in the fourth inning, Jared August getting on with a single with one out. He stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Anthony Suniga's RBI single. In the fifth, Steve Largent singled, Sand's sacrifice bunt moved him to second and Chandley drove him in with a double to left field for a 3-0 lead. The final run came in the sixth, Ross Brayton walked and Jordan Ramirez went in as a pinch runner. Suniga then doubled Ramirez home for the added insurance.

"We held them in the seventh and had the win," said Largent.

Suniga went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the win, Largent was 2-for-3 in his designated hitter role.

"Now it's getting ugly," Largent added of the schedule, which has already seen several contests rained out, forcing the rescheduling of the league games. "We'll have to play three each week for a while to catch up."

Escalon, however, has an ample supply of arms to rotate the pitching duties. And, said Largent, a talented catcher to help keep the games moving smoothly.

"I want to give Ross (Brayton) credit, he called the entire game against Hilmar," Largent explained. "We expect so much out of him, he doesn't get the credit he deserves, we do appreciate what he's doing and he's one of the reasons why our pitchers are able to keep the hitters off balance."

The Cougars will have plenty of action this week, weather permitting, with contests slated at Ripon on Wednesday and at home against Patterson on Friday.