Tough Week For Var­sity Cougars In TVL Split

Escalon Times - - SPORTS - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

Los­ing in ex­tra in­nings on the road Tues­day, the Escalon var­sity base­ball boys came back to get a win at home on Wed­nes­day. The split left the squad with a 6-2 record in Trans-Val­ley League ac­tion with four games to go.

They lost a Tues­day night game, April 24, to host Modesto Chris­tian by a 6-5 fi­nal.

“It was a game that didn’t go our way at all,” head coach Greg Lar­gent said. “It was tough go­ing, with­out one of our best play­ers, but we didn’t play very well, ei­ther.”

The var­sity squad was with­out Parker Cosby, sit­ting out a one-game sus­pen­sion for throw­ing his hel­met in a game the pre­vi­ous week. Lar­gent also was serv­ing a onegame sus­pen­sion but was kept up­dated on the con­test.

Escalon did score first, get­ting on the scoreboard in the top of the first in­ning. Paul Ayala had the RBI, driv­ing in Lucca Du­tra.

In the bot­tom of the first, Modesto Chris­tian jumped on start­ing pitcher Colton Lowney to string to­gether four straight hits and six in the in­ning, tak­ing a 3-1 lead.

“They added sin­gle runs in the third and fourth in­nings so we were down 5-1,” Lar­gent ex­plained.

In the fifth in­ning, the Cougars started to mount a come­back. Steven Grossi sin­gled but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Max Ni­cholas. Af­ter trad­ing places with Grossi, Ni­cholas stole sec­ond. Af­ter the sec­ond out, Zach Abra­ham was hit by a pitch, then Du­tra ripped a two-RBI dou­ble to close the gap to 5-3.

“In the sixth in­ning, Nash Sat­nat walked, Cole Gil­bert got a pinch hit sin­gle, Max Ni­cholas had an RBI ground out and we got a sac­ri­fice fly from Estephan Sal­cedo,” Lar­gent said of ty­ing the game at 5-5.

Nei­ther team could get the game win­ner in reg­u­la­tion, so they headed to ex­tra in­nings.

“Both teams had op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Lar­gent said of the eighth and ninth in­nings. “We had a good shot in the tenth, Sat­nat got a two-out walk, then Gil­bert sent a dou­ble to the gap, Sat­nat came around but he was out at the plate.”

It was a pic­ture per­fect throw from the out­fielder to end the in­ning and cut down the go ahead run, added Lar­gent.

“We also had the bases loaded with one out in the 12th but couldn’t do it,” Lar­gent said. “Modesto Chris­tian had op­por­tu­ni­ties in the ninth and the 11th; we got out of some jams.”

The host Cru­saders pushed the win­ning run across the plate in the bot­tom of the 12th. They loaded the bases on a sin­gle, walk and an in­field sin­gle. A come­back grounder that bounced off the glove of re­lief pitcher An­thony LaRossa was picked up quickly, but the run­ner from third just beat the throw home to se­cure the win for Modesto Chris­tian.

Lowney set­tled down af­ter his tough first in­ning and then the Cougars got an ex­cel­lent re­lief ef­fort from Paul Ayala, who came in to pitch in the fifth in­ning.

“He went seven in­nings but had to be re­moved in the 12th, he got to his pitch count,” ex­plained Lar­gent. “He al­lowed three walks and three hits and struck out six. He also went 5-for-6 at the plate.”

Gil­bert went 3-for-4 with a pair of dou­bles in the loss.

“We got right back on the field Wed­nes­day,” Lar­gent said of hav­ing back-to-back games.

The quick re­turn to the field was a good one for the Cougars, as they handed Modesto Chris­tian a 13-3 loss, split­ting the sea­son se­ries with the Cru­saders.

In the first in­ning, Cosby sin­gled, Sal­cedo walked and af­ter an out, Gil­bert walked. That loaded the bases and then Abra­ham hit into a line out. Lowney was hit by a pitch to drive in a run, Sat­nat walked to drive in an­other to make it 2-0.

Four runs in the sec­ond put the Cougars up 6-0. Cosby reached on a sin­gle and Sal­cedo walked, both ad­vanc­ing on a dou­ble steal. Ayala ripped a two-RBI dou­ble, then Gil­bert blasted a tworun homer to the scoreboard in cen­ter­field.

“It was a ma­jes­tic shot, as high as it was far,” Lar­gent said.

One more run in the third made it 7-0 be­fore Modesto Chris­tian an­swered back with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth. That made it 7-3 and the Cougars closed out the game with a six-run upris­ing in the bot­tom of the fifth, win­ning via the 10-run rule at 13-3.

“We sent 11 bat­ters to the plate,” said Lar­gent.

Keys were RBI dou­bles from Devin Rober­son and Cosby, runs bat­ted in from Ayala and Gil­bert and then three con­sec­u­tive bases loaded walks to score the fi­nal two runs.

Get­ting the start on the mound was Cosby, earn­ing a com­plete game vic­tory.

“Parker did a good job, went the dis­tance, he threw 73 pitches,” Lar­gent said. “He throws a lot of strikes, pitches to con­tact.”

Cosby al­lowed eight hits, three earned runs, walked one and struck out two.

Escalon had a to­tal of 10 hits in the win. Ayala was 2-for-4 with three RBI; Gil­bert was 2-for-3 with two RBI; Lowney, Sat­nat and Rober­son each had two runs bat­ted in and Cosby was 2-for-4 with a run bat­ted in.

Next up for the Cougars will be a game host­ing Hugh­son on Wed­nes­day, May 2 at 4 p.m. and then a road game against the Huskies on Fri­day, May 4.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Go­ing the dis­tance, Parker Cosby got the win in Trans-Val­ley League play against Modesto Chris­tian, scat­ter­ing eight hits and al­low­ing just three runs.

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