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Varsity Cougars Split Baseball Road Games
A pair of road games were on the schedule for Escalon this past week and they split the TVL contests.

It was a 14-0 win on Wednesday, March 31 at Ripon.

"We scored in every frame," said coach Greg Largent. "We got two in the first, three in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth and five in the fifth, the big hit in that last inning was a grand slam by Spencer Franceschetti."

The game went just five innings due to the 10-run rule. Brandon Shaw got the complete game win.

"He did a great job, five innings pitched, seven strikeouts, two walks and two hits," Largent said of Shaw.

There were also plenty of players with outstanding days at the plate, including Josh Miguel, 3-for-3 with four runs scored and two stolen bases; Franceschetti, 3-for-4 with three runs scored and six RBI; and Patrick Mulry, 2-for-4.

"We also sprinkled in a bunch of singles," said Largent.

Escalon had 14 runs on 11 hits with four errors. Ripon had no runs, two hits and four errors.

"We were in control the whole time, Brandon actually had a no hitter through three-and-two-thirds," Largent noted.

Playing back-to-back games, host Ripon Christian got a 4-2 win on Thursday, handing the Cougars their first league loss.

"They got us," Largent said. "The wind neutralized our bats a little bit."

Ripon Christian took the lead with two outs in the first on a double and single, Escalon got two runs in the fourth to go up 2-1.

A leadoff walk to Derrick DeFreitas was followed by a bunt by Mulry that was thrown away. Trey Balber then scored DeFreitas with a long hit that probably would have left the park had the wind not knocked it down, said Largent. Mulry scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars the lead.

Ripon Christian scored three in the bottom of the sixth and held off Escalon in the seventh to take the win.

In the fifth, second baseman Miguel was tossed from the game when he and an RC base runner got tangled up. The umpire ruled Miguel was kicking the runner, though Largent said he felt his player was simply trying to get his cleats untangled from the shoelaces of the Ripon Christian runner.

"We at first thought the umpire tossed out the other kid for going in too hard but the ump thought he (Miguel) was kicking... that was unfortunate."

Some re-shuffling of the defense was required after Miguel was tossed and the incident put a different spin on the game. Ripon Christian capitalized with a couple of hits and scored on a long fly ball to right field, erasing the deficit and taking the lead in the sixth.

"We hit the ball hard all day," Largent said.

The Cougars had two runs on five hits and two errors. Ripon Christian had four runs, eight hits and one error.

Matt Valencia went the distance in taking the loss, pitching well, striking out eight and hitting one batter.

"You don't like losing but better now than later," Largent said. "It was a close game. They got the timely hits and we didn't."

The Cougars play this week in the Windemuth Tournament, starting off against Modesto and later taking on Turlock and Davis.

The boys are 4-1 in league play at the end of the first round, 8-2 overall and are tied for first in league with Ripon Christian.