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Escalon steamrolls past Indians
Ripon’s Jared Macedo beats the tag of Escalon infielder Josh Miguel at second base. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
RIPON – There wasn’t much that Escalon’s Spencer Franceschetti had to do when he stepped up to the plate to face Ripon’s David Knell in game’s fifth inning.

In his previous three at-bats, Franceschetti had driven in two runs and scored twice to help give the Cougars an easy lead, and had no pressure on him when stepping into the bases-loaded situation with no outs.

But he hit a grand slam anyways.

The base-clearing shot to right center field gave Escalon a 14-0 lead to end an offensive onslaught that caught the upstart Indians by surprise. Solid pitching by Brandon Shaw and a stingy defense would prevent Ripon from getting back into the game.

“We had some opportunities to score, but baseball is a game of inches and we just didn’t have things fall for us the way we would have liked today,” Ripon head coach Mitchell Evans said. “I have to give it to Escalon – they came out, executed, and won the game.

“We let the leadoff batter in the first three innings score, and when you do that you’re putting yourself in a hole that’s hard to get out of.”

Ripon (2-2 TVL, 4-7) had their first chance at evening Escalon’s two-run lead in the bottom of the first when they runners at first and third with only one out.  And infield fly by Hayden Koch and a Shaw strikeout of Jake McCreath ended that run.

When they managed to load the bases in the third inning, McCreath blasted a shot that the Escalon second baseman miraculously snagged before it left the infield – a hit that would have scored at least two runs if it fell. Escalon (4-0, 8-1) would hold keep Ripon from putting another runner in scoring position from that point forward.

“We just have to put this behind us and get back onto the field when we play Riverbank tomorrow and work to get back to a winning record in league,” Evans said. “This isn’t a loss that we can afford to sit back and dwell on.”

Escalon’s Josh Miguel finished the game with a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate – scoring four runs and driving in a pair. Franceschetti finished the day with six RBIs in his four plate appearances.