Jordan Kron’s no-hit bid nearly turned into a disastrous loss for East Union, which held on to beat visiting Gregori of Modesto 9-7 Thursday at Agostini Field.
Kron, EU’s four-year standout heading to UC Riverside, was comfortably ahead by nine runs going into the top of the seventh inning with the no-hitter still in play. Michael Olivarez, Gregori’s promising freshman batting from the No. 3 spot, broke it up with a leadoff single. Kron was then replaced after throwing his 82nd pitch, finishing with eight strikeouts and a walk.
The hits kept on coming for the Jaguars (2-4), who took advantage of two walks and an error while doling out seven knocks — including three in a row at one point — to plate all of their runs in the frame.
Justin Nieto replaced Anthony Flores and finally stopped the bleeding with runners on the corners, getting the last batter to pop up to second baseman Sam Robinson near foul-ball territory down the right-field line.
“It was just one of those things — one hit and it’s contagious. That’s baseball,” EU coach Dan Triglia said of Gregori’s comeback. “We were throwing strikes all inning, but they got a little momentum going and we were on our heels a little bit. We were able to finish it out but the way we wanted to. We had the game in control and maybe we felt too comfortable with it.”
East Union (2-1) put it in cruise control early after a five-run rally in the first. Lucas Garcia set the table with a leadoff single and was driven in by Kron’s one-out double. Jesus Esquivel (2 for 2) followed with an RBI triple, and Jake Danhoff clubbed a double to make it 3-0. Brennan Koeller and Nieto capped the outburst with run-scoring singles.
The Lancers belted six of their 10 hits in the opening inning and padded their lead with a run in the second and three more in the fifth. Robinson contributed two RBIs.
“We haven’t been hitting the ball all that well, so it was nice for the bats to come alive a little bit,” Triglia said. “Hopefully we can build on that (today).”
East Union continues nonleague play at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton where they will meet Tokay of Lodi.
Brookside Christian 9,
Weston Ranch 1
Freshman Jordan Severin threw 6 1/3 strong innings in his first varsity start, but he and the Cougars (1-4) were done in by costly errors.
“Overall, he did a great job for us, we just have to eliminate the mistakes,” Weston Ranch coach Ron Wayman said. “Offensively we’re hitting the ball well, they’re just going right to players.”
Brookside Christian (5-0) led 3-1 after five innings, with all of their runs unearned. The Knights blew it open with five in the sixth. Severin only surrendered three earned runs.
James Simerly (2 for 3, 2B) drove in Jared Ferrari (2 for 2) for Wesotn Ranch’s lone run in the fourth inning.
Pacheco 8, Ripon 5
In Ripon, Pacheco (5-2) of Los Banos capitalized on six errors that led to six unearned runs, spoiling an otherwise solid showing from Indians starter Trent Murphy (5 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts). Pacheco never trailed after staking a 4-0 lead in the second.
Scott Robison drove in a pair of runs to lead Ripon (4-4) offensively. Leadoff hitter Frankie Jordangalau drew three walks and scored a run.
Ripon Christian 8, Summerville 8
In Ripon, the Knights (1-3-1) knotted the score with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning but the game remained tied as it was called to darkness.
It was the first appearance of the season for Vander Molen brothers Jon and Danny and their freshman cousin Travis, who played their final game for the school’s basketball team in Wednesday’s CIF Northern California tournament opener. Jon crushed a three-run homer, while Travis and Danny both pitched in relief and each plated a run.
Josh English struck out five and gave up six runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks in a six-inning start. Dominic Nelson smacked a home run, and Michael Myers scored twice.