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Mustang Baseball Splits Preseason Pair At Home
0319 Morgan
Senior right fielder Tanner Morgan hustles down the first base line and reaches safely in the teams 10-6 loss March 12. Morgan went 1-for-3 in the game and scored a run. DENNIS D. CRUZ/The Leader

The varsity baseball boys were busy this week as they hosted back to back games Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 12. Oakdale split their two-game home stand as they were victorious Tuesday against Enochs 6-3 but fell to Beyer the next day 10-6.

In game one, Oakdale had senior Bryce Dyrda on the hill to start the game. Though he started off a bit shaky, he managed to get out of an early jam with runners in scoring position by striking out back to back batters to end the top of the first without giving up a run. The Mustangs couldn’t capitalize on a one out walk in the bottom of the first, as Colt Parshall hit into a double play to end the inning.

Dyrda would find his rhythm as he struck out the first two batters he faced in the top of the second. Enochs’ Tyler Butterfield would reach on an error. Butterfield would try to steal second but was gunned down by Oakdale’s Garrett Bryhni for the final out. Oakdale’s bats would come alive in the bottom of the second. Oakdale would get on base with back to back singles and with one out, the squad went ahead on a two-RBI double by Nolen Legan to give Oakdale a 2-0 lead. The Mustangs were not finished as Oakdale capitalized on an Enochs error that scored Legan from third to make it 3-0.

Enochs batting woes would continue into the third as Dyrda stroke out two more batters and then Colt Parshall would get things going offensively for the Mustangs in the bottom of the third as he reached on a walk. Back to back wild pitches sent Parshall to third and Bryhni to second. Dyrda drove home Parshall on an RBI single and second baseman Christian Acosta would also get involved as hit the ball deep enough to centerfield for a sacrifice fly, to send in Bryhni from third and give Oakdale a commanding 5-0 lead.

The Eagles would get on the board for the first time, scoring on an error, to cut the lead to 5-1.

Wade Branch came on in relief in the sixth for Oakdale and gave up just one hit in that frame. The Mustangs would tack on their final run on a sacrifice bunt that sent Trent Pierson home in the bottom of the sixth. Enochs would get four hits and get on the board twice in the seventh and final inning as Oakdale won its home opener by a final of 6-3.

“I love pitching in front of the home crowd,” said Dyrda after the game. “I felt well rested after the tournament. The command of my pitches still needs a little work, but I was happy with my velocity.”

He pitched five full innings, struck out 10, gave up one run, three hits and walked three in the victory. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate getting two hits and an RBI.

“Our offensive approach was great. We executed the squeeze bunt, which is something we worked on,” said Coach Nate Gregory after the victory. “Things got a little sloppy out there for us at times. We need to execute when we have runners in scoring position. Dyrda improved from his last outing. He had more control of his pitches, he’ll improve more through the course of the season.”

On Wednesday the team debuted their red and grey camo jerseys. With senior Taylor Leach on the mound for Oakdale, the team was set to repeat the winning performance from the day prior.

Oakdale started the game off aggressively as leadoff man Ben Solorio was dealt a walk. Garrett Bryhni would then send Solorio home on an RBI single giving Oakdale an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The aggressive pitching styles from both Leach and Beyer’s Mark Ackerman, resulted in scoreless second and third innings for both sides.

Things started to get out of hand for Oakdale in the fourth inning as a routine groundball hit to third got past Branch for the error. The next Beyer batter was walked, and a successfully laid sacrifice bunt by Jason Perry advanced the Beyer runners to second and third. With the bases loaded and one out, Leach hit Beyer’s Gavin Origue in the helmet to send in the tying run. The next batter knocked in the lead run on a RBI single but that was all they got.

Oakdale would bounce back in the bottom half of the fifth regaining the lead as they put up three runs to go up 4-2. Beyer would storm back in the sixth inning with three runs of their own, to regain the lead 5-4. The Mustangs failed to score in the bottom half of the sixth. Beyer would explode for five runs on three hits in the seventh inning giving the visitors a 10-4 lead. Oakdale’s rally fell short as they could only muster two runs in the final frame.

“Taylor pitched well early, but once the pitch count rose, his and our performance as a team began to slip. The team will build off this loss and we will see what happens as the season progresses,” Gregory said.

The Mustangs (3-2) were scheduled to travel to Tracy to take on Kimball (1-2) on Tuesday, March 18 (after press time) then welcome those same Jaguars to Oakdale on Thursday, March 20 for their first Valley Oak League home contest.