Spring sports have gotten under way and it was a full slate for Oakdale High School and its student athletes this past week. Following are recaps of many contests, tournament action and preseason scrimmages.
The freshman baseball team got things rolling during the annual Mark Dickens Tournament on Wednesday and Thursday, then wrapped it up on Saturday, March 9. In game one they faced Modesto, who jumped out to an early 6-0 but the Mustangs galloped back to win 8-6 on Wednesday. Jordan Williams had 3 RBIs and a triple, while teammate Curtis Kemp got involved with an RBI double of his own and Corey Leach went 2-for-3 on the day with a pair of RBIs to help lift the Mustangs over the Panthers. Game two welcomed Gregori High School on Thursday afternoon. The Mustangs found themselves in a hole once again early, but would stay focused and squeak out a 6-5 victory. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Oakdale was down 5-3 until Jordan Williams hit a three-run double to clear the bases and give Oakdale the 6-5 lead and ultimately the victory. Saturday the boys looked to sweep the three game tournament as they faced Lincoln High School of Stockton. Scoreless through three innings, Oakdale would get on the board as Williams hit the ball just far enough to advance Collin Harrity for the only score of the game on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. That sealed the 1-0 victory and secured the Mark Dickens Championship for the frosh squad.
“This tournament means everything to me,” coach Christopher Jackson said. “He (Dickens) was my coach when I played.”
The beloved coach fought a valiant fight against cancer before succumbing to the disease; a team at the annual Relay For Life of Oakdale honors his memory.
The freshmen will be on the road this week when they travel to Beyer High School today for a 3:30 p.m. contest.
The varsity baseball team also got things rolling when they participated in the Pedretti Tournament in Turlock. The team played in three games that began on Thursday, March 6 when they faced Gregori High School. Oakdale won 4-3. Game two was played on Friday, March 7 when they faced Turlock High School. Oakdale would take one on the chin against the home team, falling 5-1.
“We had one terrible inning in which we walked four batters and only gave up two hits but allowed five runs in the inning. The pitcher struggled with command which cost us opportunities in the game,” said Mustang coach Nate Gregory.
The team wrapped up the weekend when they faced rival Sonora in a battle for third place in the tournament. The seniors shined in the game as Oakdale took out their frustrations from the day before on the Wildcats, demolishing Sonora 8-2 to bring home the third place trophy.
Senior starting pitcher Garrett Bryhni was credited with the win in five scoreless innings of work.
“He looked really sharp, striking out six with no walks,” said Gregory.
Bryhni also contributed at the dish as he went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks with an RBI and a run to his credit. Fellow senior teammates Colt Parshall, Trenton Pierson, Tanner Morgan, and Dylan Farquhar contributed by going a combined 9-for-14 with four RBIs.
The ladies hit the field as Oakdale’s soccer team played two games on the road to open the season. On Tuesday, March 4 the girls headed to Gregori and played to a 1-1 tie that featured Oakdale’s sophomore Madison Feuerstein netting the team’s lone goal with the assist from senior teammate, Izzy Arellano. The team followed up with a match on Wednesday, March 5 when they battled the Bulldogs of Tracy in a shootout. Madison Feuerstein picked up where she left off the day prior and scored both Oakdale goals but the team fell short 3-2 in the road loss. Oakdale sophomore Bailey Antonio delivered an assist on one of the Mustangs goals. The girls then played in the weekend Manteca Buffalo Cup Tournament and took second place honors, again taking the heartbreaking loss in a shootout but earned a trophy to bring home. The ladies will host Valley Oak League opponent Sierra High School today, March 12 in the team’s home opener. The JV team takes the field at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity set for a 6:30 p.m. start time.
TRACK AND FIELD
On Friday, March 7 the Mustang track and field team hit the ground running as Oakdale welcomed Escalon and Linden High Schools for a “friendly competition” and a non-scoring meet.
The afternoon was filled with several events including sprinting, high jumps, vaulting, discus, shot put, hurdles, pole vault, long jump and more.
Highlights included Oakdale junior Isaiah Aguilar running the 800 meters in 2:06 as he ran away from the other competitors.
“This is only my second time running the 800 meters,” Aguilar said. “My personal goals for the season are to break a four-minute mile and two miles in fewer than 10, but I’ll take a 10:10 for the two mile.”
Across the way the boys and girls were working hard on their throwing, with freshman Michael Everett notching a new personal best, 40-6.5 in the shotput and senior Kyle Peterson returning to form with a throw of 163-1 for the discus. Last week he competed in the Dean Anderson Classic in Atwater, and recorded a 167-7 discus toss and he currently ranks fifth in the state. The teams will compete in the County Meet at Turlock High School on Friday, March 14.
The Mustangs welcomed 14 other schools with 374 swimmers in all for Oakdale’s fourth annual March Madness Invitational. It was perfect weather at the Oakdale Aquatic Center on Saturday, March 8 for the popular swim meet. Oakdale had 18 swimmers compete in various events. Some of the highlights belonged to Stephen Kjeldgaard. A sophomore, he finished third overall in the Men’s 100 breaststroke event and ninth overall in the Mens 100 Butterfly event.
“I have a blast every time I compete. Whether it’s for a championship or just a regular event. Most swimmers like to clear their heads before taking the dive, but I like to sing Disney movie soundtracks,” confessed Kjeldgaard after his butterfly event.
Other swimming standouts included freshman Emily Bennett who finished third overall in the Women’s 100 Backstroke and fifth in the Women’s 50 Freestyle.
“I really just want to do my best for the team this season. The 26.5 in the freestyle was my fastest time I’ve ever swam,” Bennett said after the event.
The Mustangs jump back into the pool Friday, March 14 when they host Kimball in a VOL matchup at the OHS Aquatic Center starting at 3:30 p.m.