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Ripon’s rally falls short against Cougars

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Ripon’s rally falls short against Cougars

Ripon High's Justin Scott kept the Indians in the game with five solid innings of work in Ripon's TVL loss to Escalon Wednesday.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED May 6, 2010 2:14 a.m.
RIPON – Ripon High’s Ryan Durrer came to the plate as the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but could not hand the Escalon Cougars their first loss in over a month, striking out and sending Escalon home with a 6-4 Trans Valley League win.

Ripon (7-5 TVL, 10-13 overall) was intertwined in a pitchers duel, as Escalon starter Justin Martinez and Ripon starter Justin Scott did a great job of keeping things close over the first four innings. Escalon held a slim 2-0 lead until the fifth inning, when Escalon batted around and got a towering 3-run homerun from sophomore Matthew Valencia.

The homer gave Escalon a 5-0 lead, but awakened a sleeping Ripon offense who left runners stranded in each of the first five innings. Ripon would break out with a four-run sixth inning, kicked off by a Zach Evans leadoff basehit.

“I think we showed a lot of heart battling back from 6-0,” Ripon head coach Mitch Evans said. “We came back and played like it was 0-0 and we played with confidence. I have all the respect in the world for Escalon, but I also have a lot of respect for my guys.”

The Cougars (11-1, 19-2) were seemingly on their way to another blowout victory, when Ripon decided to make it interesting with six outs remaining. After Matt Ratto made a perfect read on a wild pitch, scoring from third base, Ripon was one base hit away from tying the game up in that pivotal sixth inning.

Jared Macedo battled Escalon reliever Valencia, only to fly out to the fence in straightaway right field. The Indians would get another shot in the seventh, but an untimely base running blunder and solid Escalon relief pitching gave the Indians an unconquerable task.

“If we would have been able to push a couple across early and make a few defensive plays, this is a whole different ball game,” Mitch Evans said. “But again, my hat goes off to Escalon. They did what it took to walk out of here winners today.”

Scott did all he could to keep Ripon in the game, holding a potent Escalon offense in check until surrendering the 3-run homer. Scott went 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned and striking out six.

“Justin Scott has been pitching terrifically all year,” Mitch Evans said. “The guy has been nails all season. He keeps the ball down in the zone, he mixes his pitches up and hits his locations.

“He made one location mistake and they made us pay.”

Ripon shortstop Alex Gustin led the Indians, going 3 for 4, while Sam Van Vuren and Jake McCreath went 2 for 4 and 2 for 3, respectively. Zach Evans, Hayden Koch and Van Vuren all came around to score.

The two clubs will link up again Friday, with the Indians making the short trip to Escalon for their TVL season-series finale.

“I think we need to play a complete game,” Mitch Evans said. “We need to play the game from the first pitch of the first inning until the last pitch.

“We can’t afford to spot them two innings of baseball.”

Ripon Christian 7, Modesto Christian 3
SALIDA – The Knights (9-3, 14-6) broke loose from the Crusaders and a 3-3 tie to slide off with the TVL win at Modesto Christian.

Clayton Prins gave Ripon Christian another complete game effort, surrendering three in the third inning and then holding Modesto Christian silent the rest of the way.

Arie Den Dulk went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, while Prins helped his cause, going 1 for 3 with a double and scoring twice. Aaron Fay also collected two hits in the Knights’ win.

Sophomore
Ripon 13, Escalon 4
RIPON – The Indians gave the Cougars their first loss of the TVL season and put themselves one win away from the league crown with their one-sided win over Escalon Wednesday.

Cesar Nuno and Cody Williams, who both smashed a pair of homeruns in the win, led Ripon (11-1, 15-4). Anthony Baccio and Scott Robison both went 2 for 2, with Robison hitting a homerun and driving in four. Sam Bennett was 1 for 2 with a homerun and came around to score twice.

The two teams will meet up in Escalon Friday at 4 p.m.
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