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Baseball Mustangs face VOL foe in playoff semifinals
HR 5-15
Sophomore Eric Velasquez, 14, is all smiles after his first varsity home run in quarterfinal playoff action against Vista del Lago. Welcoming him at the plate are teammates Jordan Haver, 4, and Reid Grandstaff, 21. Oakdale heads to Central Catholic for game two in their best two-out-of-three semifinal series on May 15. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

A successful start to the 2024 postseason for the Oakdale High School Mustangs on the baseball diamond saw them win their opening round and quarterfinal contests in the Division 3 playoffs.

Oakdale, the two seed, knocked off both number 15 Beyer and number seven seed Vista del Lago early on.

In their opening round contest on May 7, Oakdale defeated Beyer 9-3. The host Mustangs trailed 1-0 in the third inning but answered with a six-run uprising in the bottom of the third. The Mustangs had four doubles in the win as Jordan Haver, Eric Velazquez, Glen Weber and Landon Schutte all had doubles for Oakdale. Carlo Antinetti, Tommy Chance, Griffin Costa and Reid Grandstaff each had a single. Chance drove in two runs.

On the mound for Oakdale were Ayden Ardis and Trey Parsons. Earning the win was Parsons, going five-and-two-thirds innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits, issued two walks and struck out eight. Ardis pitched one-and-a-third innings of relief, giving up a trio of hits and striking out one.

In the quarterfinals on May 9, the host Mustangs doubled up Vista del Lago, defeating them by a 10-5 final. Oakdale sealed the victory with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to build up the lead.

That put Oakdale into the best-of-three semifinal series against Valley Oak League rival Central Catholic, which came in as the number three seed. Central shut out number 14 Weston Ranch 7-0 in the first round, then put away number six Manteca, 8-2, in the quarterfinals.

On Monday, May 13 it was an 8-1 win for the Raiders over Oakdale, taking the lead in the series. Central scored a run in the first, three in the third and four in the fourth, taking an 8-0 lead before Oakdale avoided the shutout with one run in the fifth. The Mustangs had just three hits on the day; Central rapped out 13.

Game two will be held at Central Catholic on May 15 with a 4 p.m. start time, with the Mustangs needing a win to extend their season. If necessary, the third game would be back in Oakdale, Thursday, May 16 at 4 p.m.

During the league campaign, Oakdale took two of three against Central Catholic, winning 3-1, then 11-10. The Raiders won the third game in the regular season series 3-0 on March 22.

On the other side of the D3 bracket, top seed Oakmont and number four seed Lincoln of Lincoln are playing the semifinal series with Oakmont up one game to none. Winners of the semifinal round action meet for the Section title on May 22.