Oakdale High’s varsity boys baseball team landed two comfortable wins over Manteca on April 25 and 27 to sweep the Buffaloes and move one step closer to a conference title.
If Oakdale (10-0) wins at least two of their next four contests, the Mustangs will escape the Valley Oak League with sole possession of the conference title and a stranglehold on the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a top seed.
The Mustangs kept their perfect league record intact despite a 6-2 Manteca lead after three and a half innings on April 25. Oakdale pulled to within two after a pair of fourth inning scores, scored four in the fifth and three more in the sixth to win 11-6.
Oakdale scattered 14 hits from eight different batters with seven recording RBIs in the win. Andy Morris belted a home run and was 2 for 2 with three runs in the win. Lane Branch batted 3 for 4 with two RBIs while Stefan Aguilar was 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Kody Simons had two hits while Bryce Dyrda, Mark Ortiz, Nik Garza and Spencer Thomas all belted hits.
Dyrda saw his first appearance back to the hill since a preseason injury left him unable to pitch. He faced just seven batters in two innings and struck out three with two walks and no hits allowed. Logan Handzlik got the start and the win after five innings with four earned runs, four hits, and four strikeouts.
Morris pitched a complete game with one earned run surrendered during Oakdale’s 10-2 win three days later. He allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked three. He also batted 2 for 4 with three RBIs, three runs and another home run. Simons also belted a home run and was 2 for 4 with three runs. Dyrda, Branch and Aguilar all had hits in the win.
Thomas and Justin Martin were a perfect 1 for 1 on stolen base attempts in the win. Manteca committed four errors to Oakdale’s two.
The Mustangs open a pivotal two game series with visiting Sonora today, May 2. The Wildcats appeared primed to challenge Oakdale for a conference title, but slipped to 7-3 on the season with an upset loss to Lathrop (5-5). Lathrop will await Oakdale in the final series of the regular season on May 8 and 9.
The SJS playoffs begin on May 14 (out-bracket game).