The hits, and wins, just keep coming for the Oakdale varsity Mustangs baseball team. Oakdale (17-6, 8-3) extended their impressive winning streak to eight after knocking off Central Catholic (13-10, 7-4) by a 4-1 final on Wednesday, May 4. This is the longest winning streak since the 2014 season when the team had won six straight league games.
In the home win, Oakdale’s southpaw Austin Manning took to the mound and earned his sixth win of the season for the Mustangs. A dominant performance, Manning tossed 14 strikeouts and gave up only two hits in the complete game effort.
“Central Catholic has a stacked lineup, very powerful. I knew that I had to attack them from the inside, and the guys did a great job backing me up,” Manning said of the opposition, while praising his teammates. A prime example of his teammates’ contributions came in the top of the second inning where senior outfielder Ben Solorio changed direction to make an over the shoulder basket catch for the second out.
In a scoreless game through two innings, Oakdale’s power bats made noise and propelled the Mustangs to a three run bottom of the third. The first hit by either team belonged to Oakdale’s Blake Whiting on a ground ball towards the shortstop and into the outfield grass for a leadoff single. After Whiting got cut down on a steal attempt, Ben Solorio got on board with a walk. With one out, Manning helped his own cause by hitting an RBI triple to centerfield, scoring Solorio for the first run of the game. Oakdale’s next batter, shortstop Sean Gingerich brought in Manning on an RBI double, giving Oakdale a 2-0 advantage. Gingerich came home on a two out wild pitch that hit the backstop. Gingerich has 37 hits on the season with 16 RBI to his credit. The junior shortstop is currently hitting .507 on the season, which leads the VOL in batting average.
Up 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Nick Moore hit a two out RBI single to right field to score Tyler Hall from second base to give Oakdale the 4-0 lead.
“Coming off the bench, the team needed me to step in and make contact, and that’s exactly what I did. That fourth run was huge for us. We got clutch and that’s what we have been during this run, is clutch,” said Moore.
The Raiders got their first hit of the game on a leadoff single by Austin Escobar to left field. With one out Central Catholic got their lone run on a Kyle Costa RBI single between short and third. With two outs and runners on the corners, Manning then struck out Joseph Mundt to end the game.
“We have a good approach at the plate, solid defense and pitching has been great for us too. We played an error free game today, and if you limit yourself to mistakes, good things happen,” said head coach Nate Gregory.
Oakdale’s away game against Central Catholic was rained out on Friday with no makeup date announced as of The Leader’s press time. Oakdale looks to finish the season strong and clinch a playoff spot as they take on Kimball (12-10, 3-8) in a home and home series. Oakdale traveled to Tracy to take on Kimball on Monday, May 9 following The Leader press time. Oakdale hosts Kimball today, Wednesday, May 11 for the regular season finale for Senior Day 2016. Oakdale will honor eight Mustang seniors prior to the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.
After falling 4-2 to Sierra, Oakdale regrouped and earned a 7-2 home win over Central Catholic on Wednesday, May 4. Sophomore Dillion Parker went 2-for-2 at the plate and scored a run for Oakdale. Fellow sophomore CJ Toledo went 2-for-3 and hit a three run double to help power Oakdale over the Raiders. Pitcher Ethan Parker pitched a complete game, striking out four, while walking three and giving up four hits in the win.