In a pair of home non-league games, the Mustang varsity baseball team showed early season grit in a pair of victories. The team defeated Lincoln 5-1 on Wednesday, March 2 and followed that up with a dramatic 5-4 come from behind victory over Tokay.
In their extra innings affair with Tokay, Oakdale fell behind 4-1 after two innings. Oakdale tied the game in the bottom half of the sixth. With two outs and no one on base in the seventh, junior Brice Kirk blasted the ball over the center field wall to give Oakdale the exciting home win.
“We chipped away at it, and never gave up. Kirk’s shot came early in the at bat. I don’t think it was more than two pitches before he got a hold of it. Cullen Bearden hit before Kirk, and nearly hit a walk off home run himself. The outfielder made an adjustment at the warning track and came up with the ball,” head coach Nate Gregory said.
In the team’s more convincing win the day before, Oakdale’s Michael Juarez pitched a complete game one-run effort. Juarez struck out one and gave up six hits in the win.
With the bases loaded with one out in the bottom half of the first, Kirk hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Austin Manning from third to tie the game.
Still tied at one, Oakdale broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning. Kirk’s big day continued with a two out, two RBI single to score Manning and Logan Hall to expand the Mustang lead to 3-1. Oakdale’s next batter, Sean Gingerich, hit a deep shot that rolled to center field. Gingerich’s hit scored Kirk from first and the speedy Gingerich made it to third base where the ball hit his foot. Gingerich scored on the play, resulting in an inside the park home run to give Oakdale the decisive 5-1 win.
“Whenever we get guys hot at the plate, and play a clean game in the infield and outfield we are pretty tough to beat. Our pitching was strong with Juarez and everyone came through today,” said Gingerich.
Oakdale did not have an error in the game, whereas Lincoln committed a total of five.
Oakdale also played on the road against Vista del Lago but was rained out on Friday, March 4. Oakdale led 5-2 in the fourth when the game was called. The Mustangs (3-1) will travel to Turlock this week to be a part of the three-day Pedretti Tournament beginning Thursday, March 10. The Mustangs return home on Wednesday, March 23 when they take on Manteca in the regular season opener.
In the team’s home opener against Lincoln, Oakdale fell behind 8-1 to the visitors heading into the bottom of the fourth. Oakdale answered with a two-run fourth and a five-run fifth to tie the game at eight. Neither team would score after that and the game was ruled a tie after seven innings of play. Dane Gibson went three-for-four at the plate and got a team high two RBI. The next day, Oakdale held on to a 7-6 victory over Tokay. The Mustangs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Sophomore Kyle Seese went two-for-three in the game and had three RBIs for Oakdale. The JV team will take part in the Gregori Tournament beginning on March 10.
The young Mustangs fell 4-3 on the road to Lincoln. No stats were reported. The frosh Mustangs are hosting the four-day Oakdale Tournament that began this week following The Leader’s press time. The tournament wraps up Friday, March 11.