Three games, three wins for the Oakdale varsity Mustangs baseball team. In the team’s annual three day Spring Break Mark Dickens Invitational sponsored by Golden Bear Physical Therapy and Sports Injury Center Inc., the Mustangs beat Dos Palos 15-0, Beyer 5-3 and in the finals declawed the Tigers of Tokay, 8-3.
“We did a great job of bouncing back after a tough week with Manteca. I was pleased with the team’s desire to improve and grind through some adversity,” head coach Nate Gregory said.
Oakdale welcomed seven other teams to compete in the tournament including Spanish Springs and North Valley of Nevada for the three days of baseball and to also help celebrate the memory of the late coach Mark Dickens.
“When the high school reached out to us in 2013 to be a part of the scholarship program for Mark Dickens we were honored. Mark, his wife Mila, two boys, and both parents have all been a part of our Golden Bear family over the years. For me personally, to see the smile on his mom Kathy’s face that we were honoring Mark is priceless. I think it’s wonderful that the baseball program continues to honor Mark’s memory with a scholarship for baseball players,” said Shelle Dias of Golden Bear Physical Therapy and Sports Injury Center Inc.
Mila Dickens was in attendance along with Penny Muniain, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of her late father, Cecil Muniain. He was a lifelong Mustang and Sports Booster Club member before his passing on Jan. 7, 2016.
“It was a special event to have Mila Dickens and Penny Muniain there in honor of Mark and Cecil,” noted Gregory.
Senior Alex Pena made his first ever start on the mound for the Mustangs in the championship game against Tokay. Although Pena’s outing was cut short, the Mustangs offense scored four runs in the first inning. Helping out with the team’s big bat performance was junior Sean Gingerich, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Fellow junior Jordan Williams had an RBI triple for the Mustangs.
“We had great competition with some great programs from our area as well as Nevada. I am grateful for all that attended in support of our senior scholarship Hustle for the Future,” Gregory said.
Valley Oak League play continues this week when the Mustangs (9-5, 0-2) travel to East Union (4-7, 1-1) on Wednesday, April 6 and return home for the second game of the home-and-home series with the Lancers on Friday, April 8. Both games are scheduled for 4 p.m.
The JV Mustangs went 2-2 at the Mark Dickens JV Invitational. Oakdale began the tournament on a strong performance as they knocked off Buhach Colony 13-4. Oakdale fell to Escalon in their second game when Escalon scored a run in the top of the seventh inning breaking a 3-3 tie to win 4-3. Oakdale could not shake off the late loss as the team fell to Gregori 13-0 in their third outing. The Mustangs bounced back with a 13-3 victory over El Capitan on April 1. Sophomore Dylan Wright went 3-for-3 with two RBIs with a triple and a double to help lift Oakdale. The team continues their VOL season with a home-and-home series with East Union beginning on Wednesday, April 6 at 4 p.m. on the road and return home on Friday, April 8.
A 2-1 record at the Gregori Tournament was good enough for a second place finish for the freshman team this Spring Break. A convincing 9-3 victory over Enochs got the tournament started for the club. In the second game of the tournament Oakdale fell to Bear Creek 10-3. In their final game of the tournament, Oakdale defeated host Gregori 4-3. Colton Walker’s two out two RBI single helped lift Oakdale to the victory. “Kyle Franklin, Marcus Juarez and Jacob Elting all threw well this week. Our catchers did fantastic jobs calling the games this week and we did not have a one passed ball this week which shows how much work we have been putting in every day,” head coach Chris Jackson said. “Jacob Gerber played an amazing center field making multiple diving catches and throwing out a runner at third during the Gregori win.”
Oakdale traveled to East Union on Tuesday, April 5 following The Leader’s press time. Their next game will be Thursday, April 7 at home against East Union. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.