As the varsity baseball boys gear up for Valley Oak League (VOL) play beginning Wednesday, the team hit the road for a pair of non-conference games this past week. Oakdale improved to 3-2 on the road this spring following the successful road trip, earning victories over Bear Creek and Gregori.
The Mustangs (6-3) headed to Stockton to clash with the struggling Bruins of Bear Creek (1-4-1) on Tuesday, March 15. Pitcher Blake Whiting was on point in the team’s 2-0 road shutout. The junior pitched a complete game, striking out eight Bruin batters, while giving up just two hits and walking one in the victory. Whiting’s pitching performance sparked the defense as the team did not commit an error, helping the Mustangs in the win. At the plate Oakdale collected four hits, two of which came off the bat of junior Blake Maddock. Senior Ben Solorio went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Oakdale’s other RBI came off the bat of fellow senior Austin Manning. Oakdale was dealt three walks as Solorio, Vito Rodin and Tyler Hall were awarded for their patience at the plate.
Oakdale finished the road trip in Modesto on Wednesday, March 16 with a 2-1 victory over the Jaguars. Oakdale jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when junior Sean Gingerich singled in fellow junior Cullen Bearden in the second inning. With the game tied at one in the top of the seventh, Tyler Hall drove in the go ahead run with a single to score Whiting.
On the hill for Oakdale was Austin Manning, who struck out seven, giving up two hits and walking three.
“Our players were determined all week. They did a great job of bouncing back after a tough couple of games in the Pedretti Tournament,” said third year head coach Nate Gregory. “I was proud of their resiliency all week. Our starting pitchers made some great strides in attacking hitters.”
The Mustangs start VOL action this week with a home-and-home series with Manteca to open the regular season. Oakdale welcomes the Buffaloes on Wednesday, March 23 at 4 p.m. and travel on Thursday for the conclusion of the season series.
The team’s bats came alive this week with a pair of blowout road victories for Oakdale. A 10-0 dismissal of Bear Creek on Tuesday was just the start, and their big bats continued with a 14-1 victory over Gregori on Wednesday. In the JV shutout win over the Bruins, sophomore Conner Reed went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Sophomore Dane Gibson had a big afternoon for Oakdale as he went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI in the win. Starting pitcher Ethan Parker gave up one hit and struck out five in three-and-a-third innings of work.
Oakdale’s week concluded in Modesto where the team accumulated 17 hits in the win. Sophomore Hunter Ginger led the way with three RBI and teammate Reed went 2-for-2 with two RBI. Starting pitcher Dakota McNeil struck out eight in five innings of work.
Oakdale’s youngest group was scheduled to play Tuesday, March 22 in a home game against Manteca past The Leader’s deadline.