RIPON – The Escalon baseball team came into Tuesday’s Trans Valley League contest with Ripon undefeated, and nothing changed for the Cougars after a 10-0 shutout engineered by senior pitcher Matt Valencia’s no-hitter.
Escalon capitalized on a Ripon miscue in the second inning, pushing across four runs of insurance for Valencia. Valencia would cruise from that point on, setting the Indians down in order in all but one of his six innings of work.
“He’s just so smart and Trey (Balber) did a great job calling the game,” Escalon head coach Greg Largent said. “We came in flat and it took us awhile and in that sixth we strung some hits together. We didn’t really square up any balls, but we played good defense.”
Ripon was unable to get anything going against Valencia, getting a full count walk from sophomore Josh Clark who was immediately forced out at second.
“Valencia was tough,” Ripon head coach Mitch Evans said. “He really knows how to spot his pitches. He has just enough velocity that when he changes speeds it cuts the ball; it’s in, it’s out, it’s up, its down, and he locates his pitches ahead in the count.
“If you don’t get him early, then you’re trying to hit his pitches instead of sitting on yours.”
Ripon starter Scott Robison gave the Indians a valiant effort, keeping the Cougars’ bats silent through the middle innings before succumbing to the patient Escalon hitters and an uninspired effort behind him defensively.
Robison matched Valencia zeros for four of the game’s five innings, but a four-run second and sixth-run sixth were more than enough for the win. Valencia finished with 12 strikeouts and the one free pass to Clark.
The two clubs will meet up again Thursday in Escalon. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Ripon Christian 11, Denair 1
The Knights did not have any problem taking care of Denair, cruising behind Colby De Vries’ complete game effort.
De Vries was also 2 for 4 at the plate with a team-high three RBI. Jon Vander Molen was 2 for 4 and Chris Saenz and Dustin Van Vliet both were 3 for 4. David Henderson was 4 for 4 with an RBI and a run.
De Vries held Mariposa without an extra-base hit or a multi-hit game from any batter.