Undefeated Escalon completed its nonleague sweep of the three Manteca schools Tuesday with a 1-0 win over visiting East Union. The Cougars (7-0) previously downed Manteca High and Sierra.
The small-schools powerhouse manufactured the lone run in the fourth inning on Trey Balber’s two-out single. Patrick Mulry, who went 3-for-3 with a double, reached on a single to start the inning.
“It was an outstanding ballgame for both sides, we just couldn’t come up with the clutch base hit,” East Union coach Dan Triglia said.
East Union (5-3) could only muster two hits off southpaw Matthew Valencia but still managed to mount threats in the late innings. The Lancers recorded both knocks in the fifth inning, and in the sixth they left the bases loaded. Then in the seventh, they had the tying run in scoring position before Valencia closed it with his sixth strikeout.
Valencia walked three and hit one in his two-hitter. For East Union, Jordan Kron scattered five hits and struck out five in six innings.
“Jordan did an outstanding job from the hill, and he had a lot of defensive support behind him,” Triglia said.
John Olague came through with the biggest defensive play of the game in the fifth and helped keep the Lancers within striking distance. With runners on first and second, Olague recorded the final out with a diving grab in the air to stop a line-drive shot from reaching the outfield.
The battle-tested Lancers will begin Valley Oak League play next Wednesday, March 28 against visiting Oakdale in a battle of 2011 co-champions.
Lathrop 8, Summerville 1
The Spartans (6-3) capped their preleague schedule on a high note, getting a strong combined pitching effort from Mikey Pereznegron and Austin Plunk.
Pereznegron struck out five, walked one and yielded four hits in five innings. Plunk closed out the final two innings in relief and also plated two runs on offense.
“Mikey did a great job of setting the tempo on the mound today, and our defense was able to help him out on some tough plays.
Lathrop opens the VOL season at Kimball on March 28.