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Prep Baseball, Division V playoffs: Livingston KO'd by Escalon

LODI -- Matt Winton's going to miss the group of guys he had this year.

You could see it in the skipper's eyes after Livingston's season came to an end with a 7-1 loss to Escalon on Monday afternoon at Tony Zupo Field.

The win completed a two-game sweep in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinal series for Escalon.

"When you win and you have the kind of group of kids we had, that makes it extra special," said Winton, who reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in his nearly-two-decade long coaching career.

"Those are the years you remember."

Winton's boys ran into a juggernaut in Escalon (24-3).

Escalon crushed Livingston 10-0 in the first game of the series on Saturday.

Livingston ace DJ Jantz was able to pitch his way out of jams in the first two innings on Monday.

However, Escalon finally got to the right-hander with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Aaron Pangilinan started the inning with a single under the glove of Livingston shortstop Brian Alvarez.

One out later, Patrick Mulry dropped the barrel of his bat on a Jantz curveball down the right-field line for a triple to give Escalon a 1-0 lead.

Derrick Defreitas followed that with a chopper over the head of Livingston third baseman Jacob Penrod for a run-scoring single.

Matthew Valencia then sliced an RBI double down the left-field line.

Before Jantz could catch his breath, he was trailing 5-0.

"I thought DJ pitched great today," Winton said. "They put the five spot up in the third against him, but they hit a couple balls down the line, they hit the high chopper and some seeing-eye singles.

"DJ did everything we asked of him today."

Winton didn't stick around for very long.

Pangilinan led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a ball down the third-base line that was ruled fair by the home-plate umpire.

Winton argued that the ball was foul and was quickly ejected from the game.

"I wasn't going out there to get thrown out of the game," Winton said. "He said the ball kicked up chalk, but it's dusty over there. I thought it was a good 8 to 12 inches foul. The Escalon guys told me they thought it was foul."

Livingston (20-8) had a chance to get back into the game in the fifth inning.

Luis Galvan singled to center field to start the inning. One out later, Alvarez drew a walk to put runners on first and second.

After a fielder's choice, Livingston had runners on first and third with two outs. Fernando Alcazar drove in Livingston's only run of the game with a single to center.

Escalon starter Justin Martinez then got Jantz to fly out to center to end the threat.

"We got guys on, we just didn't put the ball in play enough," said Alvarez. "We just didn't bring our bats out today. We left them in the closet."

Livingston spent about 20 minutes down the right-field line after the game talking about their final seven innings and the run they had.

"This year was amazing," Alvarez said. "I'm going to miss playing with these guys. We set a goal this year ... we didn't make it, but we had an amazing year.

"Our goal was to win a section title. After losing only two games during summer league last year we felt we had the potential to go all the way. We didn't succeed. Next year's another chance."

At Tony Zupo Field in Lodi

Livingston 000 010 0 -- 1 3 3

Escalon 005 020 X -- 7 9 0

DJ Jantz, Nick Gonzales (6) and Fernando Alcazar; Justin Martinez, Brandon Shaw (5) and Trey Balber. WP -- Martinez. LP -- Jantz.


ESCALON -- Spencer Franceschetti (2 RBI), Patrick Mulry (3B, RBI), Matthew Valencia (2B, 2 Runs, RBI), Aaron Pangilinan 2-3 (2B, Run), Travis Cardoza (2B, RBI).

Records: Livingston 20-8; Escalon 24-3.