The weather cooperated this past week and the Escalon ‘A’ team varsity baseball squad put together a 2-2 record at the Lee Hampson –Larry Johnson Tournament.
Opening up on Monday, June 17 with Lincoln of Stockton, playing at Gregori, the boys shut down Lincoln by a 9-0 final.
Ty Harris went the first two innings, Zack Hearn pitched five.
“Luke Anderson had some nice hits and Clayton Ferreira did a good job at shortstop,” said head coach Greg Largent. “Gio Brunetti is looking good at second base and Brad Hagglund did well behind the plate.”
Game two against Beyer, also on Monday, was a hard-fought 7-6 loss.
“We were down but we whittled our way back,” noted Largent.
Some untimely errors by the Cougars helped Beyer build their lead.
Noah Rast started on the mound and pitched well, while Ethan Johnson came on and pitched two innings of relief.
Wednesday featured a double header, first against Gregori and then Sierra.
It was a 4-2 loss to Gregori, with all their runs unearned.
The good news, though, said Largent was that Clay Evans opened some eyes with his pitching performance.
“He knows how to pitch,” Largent said of the normal catcher. “We’ve found another arm.”
The team also had opportunities but squandered them, not able to “get the timely hit,” noted the coach.
Game two on the day was against Sierra, an 8-5 win for the Cougars.
“Ty Harris started but got hit a little bit,” Largent said, with the team falling behind by a 3-0 score.
Johnson came on in relief and threw strikes, allowing Escalon to get back in the game and eventually nail down the victory.
“It was an enjoyable experience,” Largent said of the week, with the team chemistry starting to fall into place. “They get thrown together so fast.”
Demetrius Teixeira had a couple of nice hits in the second game on Wednesday and Brunetti also swung the bat well.
“We saw bright spots,” Largent said.
The coach noted that, with the pitching corps already shaping up, they should be deeper in that area this coming season but will need to stay healthy and also have to work on playing clean in the field.
A previously scheduled doubleheader against Grace Davis this week was canceled, but the varsity squad was scheduled to play at Ripon Christian on Tuesday, June 25 at 9 a.m.
For the ‘B’ team JV boys, it was the week for the annual Bob Loureiro Tournament, hosted at Escalon.
Head coach Ken Baptista – who was out of town for part of the week – said the JV boys won one, tied one and lost two during the tournament. Several coaches assisted in running the team for the week, with Baptista back in the dugout for the tournament finale on Thursday, June 20.
“Monday we played Ceres and we won that one,” Baptista said. “We tied Turlock on Tuesday, it was a comeback tie 3-3, we scored two in our last at-bat.”
On Wednesday, June 19 the young Cougars lost to Modesto High and then against Gregori on the final day, they hung tough early but then ran into some trouble and took the loss.
Baptista said the summer rules, allowing for multiple substitutions, helps to get players plenty of experience at different spots and allows coaches to see the growth and development of players from game to game.
“A lot of the (incoming) sophomores are gaining confidence, you see that over the summer,” Baptista said, noting that now they are taking on leadership roles, helping out the freshmen.
For those just getting started at the high school level, Baptista said there is a definite step up in the competition.
“They’re transitioning from Little League,” he pointed out. “We’re coming along. There’s a lot of stuff to work on but we’re making small steps.”
Action this week for the ‘B’ team features games against Johansen, Modesto and Pitman at the Modesto Tournament, with a possible Thursday, June 27 game depending on their record through the first three games.
Both summer squads wrap up their schedules this week.