Manteca week is always a big one for the Mustangs and this week featured a couple of battles on the ball diamond. Entering the week the varsity teams were tied for second place and, after each team won at their home sites, the standings remained the same.
On Tuesday, April 10 the Mustangs hosted the Buffaloes and with Josh Garcia on the mound for Oakdale, the Mustangs won 4-1. In the win Garcia pitched six innings and struck out seven batters while walking six. The highlight of Garcia’s evening was that he only gave up one hit the entire game.
“I felt comfortable entering the day. I need to eliminate some of my mistakes, especially my walks. The guys behind me did most of the work tonight,” said Garcia about his performance.
The “guys behind me” he spoke of were his outfielders and infielders who did not commit an error in the win.
After five scoreless innings the Mustangs offense posted four runs in the sixth inning. Outfielder Jacob Solorio notched an RBI single to start the scoring in the big inning.
“I need to be patient at the plate. I was patient and it paid off,” said Solorio.
With bases loaded and no outs, Jake Elting added on to the lead with an RBI bunt single to give Oakdale a 2-0 lead. Manteca walked in a run and Alex Daoud then hit a two out RBI single to give Oakdale a 4-0 advantage.
In the seventh inning Manteca got on the board with a Dom Rey solo home run over the left field wall.
Two days later the Mustangs went to Manteca High School to play the Buffaloes but the Mustangs were not able to complete the sweep as Manteca doubled up the varsity boys 10-5. Manteca jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, and Oakdale answered with three runs in the second. Manteca scored six unanswered to pull away from the Mustangs before Oakdale fought to make it close, scoring two in the seventh.
Elting, Daoud, Hayden Knittel and Max Moore each had an RBI in the game. Marcus Juarez started the game for Oakdale and pitched one third of an inning in the loss.
Oakdale has a 4-2 Valley Oak League record and will be playing Lathrop in a home and away series this week. On Tuesday, April 17 Oakdale hosted the Spartans (0-5) following The Leader’s press time. Oakdale will travel to Lathrop on Thursday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.
Like the varsity, the junior varsity boys split their week against Manteca. At home Oakdale defeated Manteca 9-2 but fell to the Buffaloes on Thursday, 3-1.
In the home victory, Evan Waite led the team with two hits and an RBI. Dom McDonald provided two RBI, Dominic Antinetti and Carson Cripe each had one RBI and Jaiden Williams brought in three runs. Diego Valdez pitched four strong innings and earned the win.
Down 1-0 at Manteca, Oakdale rallied to tie the game with a Carson Cripe RBI single. Manteca, however, scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off the winner.
Oakdale’s youngest ballplayers did not have a series against the Buffaloes but will return to action on Wednesday, April 18 at home against the Sierra Timberwolves and will play them again at Sierra on Friday, April 20.