Escalon and pitcher Arabella Strach can climb into a first-place tie in the TVL and the seize the top spot in the small-school poll with a victory over Ripon on Wednesday.

Moving week among small schools: How title races in TVL, SL will affect top-5.

James Burns

Small Schools

Editor’s note: Comprised of teams from the Central California Athletic Alliance, Mother Lode League, Southern League and Trans-Valley League. Last week’s ranking and current record in parenthesis. Records as of Sunday, April 7, 2019.

1. (1) Ripon (12-0): The Indians survived a scare from Livingston and its budding freshman ace Amie Valdez, who tossed a two-hitter in a 1-0 loss, and then whipped Hilmar and Riverbank to remind everyone why they’re the small-school No. 1.

2. (2) Escalon (7-5-1): The Cougars have won four straight games since their extra-inning loss to Ripon in their Trans-Valley League opener, including three shutouts. One of those came in a 21-0 shellacking of Riverbank. Escalon can atone for its only TVL loss Wednesday when No. 1 Ripon comes to town.

3. (3) Waterford (11-1): The Wildcats have won 11 consecutive games and can separate themselves in the Southern League standings with a victory Thursday at Ripon Christian.

4. (4) Ripon Christian (10-3): Just a game back in the Southern League standings, the Knights can make the race interesting with a victory over the Wildcats. Historically, Ripon Christian hasn’t had too much success against Waterford (4-17 all time), but the Knights have won three of the last four meetings.

5. (5) Calaveras (6-2): Calaveras is the team to beat in the Mother Lode League. Through five games, Calaveras is 5-0 with a 47-4 run differential.

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