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Varsity Nine Split Pair In League Play
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A good win against Riverbank was followed by a disappointing loss to Hughson as the varsity Cougar baseball squad split its games for the week.

Tuesday, they hosted the Bruins and took a 3-2 win off the playing field.

Riverbank took the lead in the top of the third on a single, a sacrifice and another single, said Escalon coach Bob Loureiro.

The Cougars, however, answered in the bottom of the frame.

"Jesse Miguel homered, Ross Brayton doubled and K.J. Vandagriff had an RBI single," Loureiro said of taking a 2-1 lead.

The home team added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on singles from Miguel and Brayton, a sacrifice fly from Vandagriff. They would need the extra tally, as the Bruins scratched back for a run in the sixth.

"They had a single and then an error, which put runners on first and third," explained Loureiro. "The run scored on a double play."

Zachary Swass went the distance on the mound for the win, scattering seven hits and striking out four. Miguel and Vandagriff drove in the runs, Miguel was 3-for-3 and Brayton went 2-for-3 on the day.

"It was a good game," added Loureiro. "A good win over Riverbank, we were happy with it."

Thursday, the tables were turned, as the Cougars hosted Hughson and lost a 3-2 decision after building an early 2-0 lead.

In the first inning, Miguel singled and stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. In the second inning, Brian Lynn doubled and Anthony Suniga singled to drive him in.

Hughson scored all three of its runs in the third inning, aided by an error, a sacrifice and a couple of wind-blown balls.

"They didn't do anything great," Loureiro noted of the Huskies.

They started out the frame with a single, moved the man over with a sacrifice, then had a runner reach on a pop fly ball in the infield that was blown about wildly by the heavy winds, eluding the Cougars. Two doubles followed, including one that was just out of reach of centerfielder Vandagriff, pushed past his diving effort by the wind.

"It was a disappointing loss because we just had chances to win and didn't," said Loureiro. "We left eight runners on and in the seventh inning, with Miguel on third, there was a wild pitch."

But with the new brick backstop behind home plate, the ball bounced right back to the catcher and they were able to cut down Miguel, trying to score the tying run on the passed ball. He was tagged out to end the game.

Mike Johansen started and went six innings, Peter Krumeich pitched one inning in relief.

"Johansen pitched well and this marked the second game in a row our pitchers have not walked a batter," pointed out Loureiro. "It was a well-played game."

Escalon dropped down to third place in league with the loss, a half-game behind Riverbank for second. Hilmar remained in first. The Cougars will try to make up some ground, hosting Hilmar on Thursday, April 29.