Oakdale High senior Andy Morris can add ‘Captain Clutch’ to the barrage of monikers he’s likely to receive before his high school career is over.
Morris stepped to the plate with the game tied at 2-all and belted a walk-off home run to end a 3-2 battle with East Union on Friday. The victory coupled with a 4-3 win over the Lancers the previous day to complete a sweep over a team that shared co-Valley Oak League honors with Oakdale a season ago and was expected to compete for a 2012 title after returning most of their lineup.
“We had two great games against EU,” Oakdale coach Hondo Arpoika said. “They are a quality team with solid pitching, good hitters and they gave us two close ball games.
“It was exciting baseball and we are glad to be on top when we came out of that series.”
Morris excited the home crowd Friday by hitting 3 for 3 with two home runs, a double and all three of Oakdale’s runs scored. He also pitched seven superb innings with nine strikeouts.
“Andy came in with the same determination that he always does,” Arpoika said. “He remained focused and didn’t try to overdo anything. Late in the game he focused on one pitch at a time and was able to do capitalize on a couple pitches to him that were left over the plate.”
Kody Simons also hit 2 for 3 in the second game to help hand EU starter Zac Carillo his first loss of the season
Simons was the hero just a day prior when East Union rallied to three sixth-inning scores to tie the game at 3-3 heading in to the final inning. Mark Ortiz was hit by a pitch from Lancer standout Jordan Kron to start the next at-bat, and later scored off a double by Simons. EU went 1-2-3 in the bottom frame to end the game.
Oakdale managed only four hits off Kron, but Ortiz was twice hit by pitches, stole two bases and scored two runs. Spencer Thomas belted a big hit to score Ortiz in the first inning while Logan Handzlik pitched seven strong innings for the win.
With the series sweep, Oakdale moves atop the conference standings as the only VOL team without a defeat. Sierra (9-3) and Sonora (9-4) split their recent series while Manteca (6-4) and Weston Ranch (4-6) did the same. Kimball (5-3) and Lathrop (7-4) also split wins. Oakdale hosts Weston Ranch on Wednesday and wraps the series on the road.
Oakdale avenged their only loss of league play in 3-0 fashion to East Union on March 28 by besting the Lancers 5-4 in 11 innings at home on Friday.
Colt Parshall hit 3 for 6 across the stanza with an RBI. Christian Acosta and Trenton Pierson (double) both hit 2 for 5 in the win. Spencer Hager, Tanner Morgan, Beau Courtroul (two runs) and Garrett Bryhni also landed hits. Bryhni (seven innings) and Mike Stout (four innings) combined for the win on the mound. Both struck out three each.
Oakdale’s JV is 9-4 overall.