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Weather Still Impacting Baseball, Softball Schedules
Escalon’s Colton Page goes into a head first slide to make it in safely to home, coming around to score on a Josh Fiori two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning on Thursday, March 23. The varsity Cougars shut out Livingston, 3-0, behind a nine-strikeout performance from pitcher Parker Saunders. Marg Jackson/The Times

It hasn’t been much of a season yet for Escalon’s baseball and softball teams with more contests than not falling victim to the weather.

The varsity Cougar baseball boys, however, were able to get a game in this past week hosting Livingston on Thursday, March 23. A scheduled game in Livingston earlier in the week was rained out. But, on the home field, the boys took a 3-0 victory, getting a much-needed Trans-Valley League win. They had started out with a pair of losses to Ripon – both games played at Mistlin Park in Ripon – and knew they needed a win to get back on track.

“Thursday was a very quick game,” first year head coach Gino Franceschetti said. “Offensively we struggled to get hits but we were able to get an RBI single from Greg Adams in the fourth.”

That put the home team up 1-0 and junior lefty Parker Saunders pitched an outstanding game, taking care of the Wolves with just 76 total pitches. In the complete game shutout, Saunders struck out nine and allowed just two hits. He did not walk a batter.

“When he takes the mound, he is in complete control of the game,” Franceschetti said. “He is a hitter’s nightmare. He has three pitches that he can throw in any count; that is extremely rare to see in high school. That makes it extremely easy for our pitching coaches to call a game.”

While the one run would have been enough for Saunders on the day, his team did get him a couple extra.

It was in the bottom of the sixth that the Cougars added a pair of insurance runs.

“We had some good at bats; we got the bases loaded with no outs and we had a nice two-RBI single by Josh Fiori,” said Franceschetti.

That gave the Cougars a 3-0 win, with Saunders putting away Livingston in the top of the seventh.

The JV boys, meanwhile, won their game over Livingston by a 4-3 final.

This week, the baseball team was scheduled to play at Riverbank on Tuesday, March 28 (weather permitting) and are to host the Bruins in a Thursday, March 30 contest.



In a short preseason, the varsity softball girls beat Gustine while taking losses to Los Banos, Orestimba and East Union. Their Trans-Valley League opener at home was washed out on Wednesday, March 22 but they did head out on the road and get a victory at Hughson on Friday, March 24.

“We won 22-12 and had a combined total of 18 hits,” explained first year head coach Caitlin Brooks. “Madison Babsa went 2-for-3 and Macie Vickers went 5-for-6; it was an offense driven game but the girls played well.”

Babasa had three runs driven in on the day while Briana Vazquez, Emily Vickers, Macie Vickers, Grace Spurgeon and Alyssa Herrera each had two RBI.

The JV girls took a tough loss, said Brooks, who added that they continue to work hard and are improving every day.

“We have Hilmar at home on Wednesday, weather permitting of course,” Brooks of a scheduled March 29 game. “Modesto Christian was scheduled for Friday (March 31) but they don’t have a varsity or JV team this year.”