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Weather Allows For Some Sports Teams To See Action
Cougar Wrap
Saunders 4-5
Lefty Parker Saunders gets ready to send the pitch toward the plate while second baseman Josh Fiori, behind, holds the Riverbank runner on base. The varsity teams faced off in a Thursday doubleheader and Escalon put both games in the win column. Marg Jackson/The Times

Softball was rained out on March 29 but several other Escalon High School squads did get in some competition this past week.

Baseball, in fact, was rained out on Tuesday, March 28 but the game was made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday, March 30. There were no golf matches on the schedule but tennis, track and field, and baseball had games.

Here is a look at the recent action for the Cougars.



After being rained out and unable to travel to Riverbank on March 28, the Cougars hosted the Bruins in a doubleheader on March 30.

The varsity boys put a pair of wins in the books, taking game one by a 14-6 final and defeating the Bruins by a 10-4 score in the second.

Escalon was the home team in the first game, they were the visiting team in game two on the day.

Zack Valencia got the start on the mound in the first game and “had a good outing,” said head coach Gino Franceschetti.

Valencia struck out five and walked three; Greg Adams came on in relief and closed out the game without allowing a run.

Riverbank jumped in front with a four-run first inning in the opener but the Cougars battled back, with a big six-run inning in the third and added runs each inning, closing it out via the 10-run rule with four runs in the sixth.

“Cam Ruiz led the hitting, going three-for-four with four RBI; Jamin Miller, Jackson Runnels and Nico Franzia each had two hits and a run batted in each,” said Franceschetti.

Parker Saunders got the start in game two and struck out 10 on the way to the win.

Ruiz was 4-for-4 and drove in two runs, Franzia was 4-for-5 with a pair of runs driven in as well. Valencia and Adams each added two hits.

“We didn’t play our best baseball but it was still nice to get two wins to put us right in the middle of the TVL standings,” Franceschetti said.

For the JV team, under new head coach Carlos Herrera, they shut out the visiting JV Bruins in both games on Thursday. The first game was a 16-0 final with Lorenzo Teixeira driving in three runs on the day and several players getting a pair of hits. In game two, it was a 10-0 win for Escalon. Ian Burk paced the offense with three runs driven in and two hits; Teixeira added three hits and two RBI.

“Very proud of how the boys are buying into what we are teaching,” Herrera said. “They are eager to learn and taking in what we are teaching. As we continue to work, we will try and build this program and grow; very excited for the future of this program.”



After hosting Livingston earlier this season, the Cougars made a road trip to face off against the Wolves on Friday, March 31. It was a 7-1 win for Escalon. Taking wins were boys number two seed Nikolai Lorenzo, 6-3, 6-4; girls number one and number two seeds, Isabella Nalbandian and Rylie Lattig, with Nalbandian winning 6-1, 6-1; Lattig in a 6-0, 6-0 effort. The lone loss came in singles play, as number one boys singles Josh Schut took a hard fought 5-7, 5-7 loss.

In boys doubles action, Sawyer Mello and Jack Anderson were 6-0, 7-5 winners and Daniel Adams and Landon Underwood teamed for a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Girls doubles saw Makayla Wentzell and Faye Hernandez play to a 6-2, 6-0 decision, Kali Castellanos and Brittany Dugo were 6-1, 6-0 winners. The mixed doubles team of Nathan Rose and Paloma Lara also won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

The tennis team has matches scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, April 5 and 6 this week on the home courts.



Escalon traveled to Hughson on March 30 where they faced off against Hilmar, as the Yellowjackets track was unavailable.

The varsity boys lost by a 113-23 decision but had some good individual performances, said head coach Carrie Nash.

Those included: 400m 2nd Andrew Morales 55.79; 3rd Ryan Barker 57.19; 800m 2nd Andrew Morales 2:15.05; 3rd Nate Millard 2:16.53; 3200m 2nd Jose Calderon 11:27.69; 4x400 Escalon 1st (Rangel, Gonzalez, Grajeda, Barker); Shot Put 3rd Victor Romero 35’ 2.5”; Discus 3rd Owen Nash 101’ 8”; High Jump 2nd Owen Nash 5’10”; Long Jump 2nd Logan Anderson 19’2”.

The varsity girls fell to Hilmar, 99-33. Top efforts for the Lady Cougars included: 100m 2nd Cali Granis 13.34; 3rd Alyssa Ball 13.47; 200m 2nd Cali Granis 27.75; 3rd Alyssa Ball 28.36; 800m 3rd Destiny Reyes 2:55.61; 4x100 1st (Barron, Silva, Ball, Granis); Shot Put 1st Shelby Kessler 28’2”; 3rd Gloria Segura 27’6.75”; Discus 1st Gloria Segura 81’11; 2nd Chloe Farley 76’5”; High Jump 2nd Alondra Gonzalez and Sammy Lang.

“We were scheduled to travel to Hilmar but since their track was under water, we joined Hughson and Livingston on Hughson’s track. It was a long night but fun to see what our TVL rivals were posting in the way of times and marks,” said Nash. “The TVL is an undeniably strong league. We struggled to earn top places in most events but there were some definite highlights in the top three places we earned on both the girls and boys side. Training this season has been very difficult due to all the rain which has kept us mostly indoors and then when the weather is good, we do not have a basic track to train on. We have had to get creative in where we practice.”

The district has started the process of upgrading the football field, track and stands at Engel Field, but that has made it tough for athletes this season, admitted the coach.

“To practice long jump for instance, we take our rubber mats and pole vault pit to the old gym and have athletes practice jumps in this manner. Sprinters do intervals on mapped out courses in the neighborhood, distance runners travel to local parks to do a lot of their training,” she explained. “A small group of specialized event athletes have been able to travel to Riverbank most Mondays to practice, but at most that’s nine of some 90-plus athletes. Our kids are showing up, working hard, being optimistic and improving which is huge. We all look forward to a more normal training environment when our facilities are completed.”

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Escalon’s number one boys singles player, Joshua Schut, returns a volley during action on the home court against Livingston in earlier season Trans-Valley League play. Schut led a Cougar sweep of the visiting Wolves. Marg Jackson/The Times
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Track and field standout Owen Nash clears the bar in the high jump during recent competition, with the Cougars seeing plenty of league and invitational action this spring. Photo Contributed
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Junior varsity baseball player Hayden McPherson leaves his feet as he gets ready to slide into home during the second game of a doubleheader against Riverbank on Thursday, March 30. He was safe and the host JV Cougars won both games via shutout. Marg Jackson/The Times