A roller coaster of a season for the Oakdale High School Mustangs baseball program came to an end on Thursday night, May 23. Oakdale’s final game of the season was played at Klein Family Field at University of the Pacific in Stockton where they lost 6-4 to top seed Buhach Colony. This was the second time in three days that the boys faced the Thunder in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Playoffs.
In their first match-up, played on Monday, May 20 Oakdale scored four runs in the top of the first but the Thunder countered with five runs in the bottom of the first and tagged the Mustangs for six more in the third to go up 11-5. Buhach won the game by a final of 15-6. In the loss OHS sophomore Gannon Davis had four hits and three RBI.
With the loss, Oakdale needed to run the table the rest of the tournament to bring home a Section crown. It was a task the fifth seeded Mustangs were ready to take on. Their next game came on Wednesday, May 22 against the third seed Atwater Falcons. Oakdale grounded the Falcons 3-1. Senior Josh Gerber hit an RBI double and Noah Chelberg also hit a double to help lift Oakdale to victory. Jacob Solorio had an RBI as well. Pitcher Josh Garcia went seven innings giving up just five hits and no earned runs. The Mustangs led throughout the game.
“This was a big one,” said Gerber. “We all did what we had to do so we can keep this season going.”
The following day Oakdale returned to Klein Family Field to once again take on Buhach Colony. Gerber, Davis and Solorio each had two hits. Chelberg had one hit and drove in a pair of runs in the team’s loss. The Mustangs led 1-0 in the first inning but the Thunder tied it in the third. Oakdale broke the tie in the fourth inning as they built up a 4-1 lead. The Thunder answered with a four-run fifth inning and added an insurance run in the seventh for the 6-4 win.
“It was a hard-fought loss, and I am proud of the character, determination and grit that our boys showed,” said Mustangs head Coach Chris Henry. “Unfortunately giving extra opportunities to tremendous teams does not end well.”
Oakdale compiled a season record of 21-10 and finished third in the Valley Oak League.
“We had extremely high expectations and our boys did an outstanding job building on mental toughness, playing hard through adversity and ultimately getting one game away from playing for a section championship,” said Coach Henry. “I’m nothing less than extremely proud of this group of Mustangs.”