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Summer Sluggers Hit Field For Tournament Schedule
baseball dugout
The Oakdale Mustangs were one of four host teams in the 32nd Annual Lee Hampson Tournament. Shown are the Mustangs along with head coach Nate Gregory watching the diamond action from inside the dugout. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Oakdale was one of four host cities in the 32nd annual Lee Hampson Baseball Tournament this past week. The 20-team tournament featured Oakdale as the host city for Pool B, a pool that included Calaveras, Beyer, Modesto Christian and Merced.

Monday, June 19 Oakdale defeated Merced 9-8 to start the tournament. On Tuesday, June 20 Oakdale fell short to Modesto Christian 7-6. The Mustangs bounced back on Wednesday, June 21 against Beyer with a 5-4 victory. Winning two of their three pool games advanced the Mustangs to the championship game against pool C winner Buhach Colony. The host team came up short as Buhach Colony defeated Oakdale 4-1.

“We had a great summer. I saw a lot of positive traits in the guys coming up to the varsity level,” Mustangs head coach Nate Gregory said.

Some of the new faces that made early impressions were Alex Daoud, Hayden Knittel, Max Moore, and Josh Garcia.

“Max played well behind the plate, Knittel played multiple spots as well as hitting in the middle of the lineup. Daoud had a good tournament playing in the middle infield, and both Dakota McNeil and Josh Garcia played great on the mound for us.” Coach Gregory said. He also credited the junior varsity coach Chris Henry for preparing the young players for the next level.

Familiar faces on the team like Corey Hinojosa and Dane Gibson also contributed to the team’s championship appearance.

“I felt good about our tournament performance. Seeing the new guys come in here and improve each day is encouraging,” varsity first baseman Gibson said about the tournament.

Hunter Ginger also had an impact on the tournament driving in nine runs for Oakdale.

“I think we played well overall. We played as a team and we are looking forward to the spring,” Ginger said.