After a rocky start to the Valley Oak League schedule, the varsity baseball Mustangs put together seven strong and complete innings to defeat visiting East Union 5-1. Oakdale entered the game 0-3 in league play after a 3-2 road loss to East Union (5-8, 2-2) on Wednesday, April 6.
“The boys played well on Wednesday. I thought Marco (Gonzales) played very well against us. He is a competitor and his team locked it down. Not that we did not play well, because we did, but they just beat us,” head coach Nate Gregory said of his team’s road loss.
Oakdale’s junior pitcher Michael Juarez pitched a complete game in the Thursday win, giving up four hits, walking six and striking out two Lancers in the game.
“I just wanted to throw strike one and go from there. My defense did their job in backing me up and we got the win,” said Juarez.
The Mustangs (10-6, 1-3) opened up with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third and exploded for another three runs in the bottom half of the fifth to put the game out of reach. Oakdale’s big bats included Ben Solorio going two-for-four, Sean Gingerich going two-for-three with a double and an RBI, Bryce Kirk one-for-two with two RBI and Austin Manning also getting a hit.
“There is a lot of fight in this team. We know we have a hole to dig out of but the Valley Oak League is very competitive. Everybody has a tough guy in their lineup,” Gregory said of the competition in the VOL.
Oakdale takes on Lathrop in a home and home series that begins Wednesday, April 13 at home and then they travel to Lathrop on Friday, April 15. Both games with the Spartans (4-6-1, 1-3) are scheduled for a 4 p.m. start time.
Oakdale improved to 3-1 in league play after sweeping East Union. Oakdale defeated the Lancers 3-1 on the road and scored five runs in the fifth to erase a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4. Sophomore Connor Reed’s three RBI-day (two doubles) helped lead the JV Mustangs to victory, while Dane Gibson also had an RBI.
Oakdale’s frosh team was off this week and returned to play Central Catholic in a home and home series. Oakdale hosted the Raiders on Tuesday, April 12 after The Leader’s deadline. Their next game will be Thursday, April 14 at Central Catholic with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.