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Mustang Boys Go Two For Three; Lady Mustangs Roll
Diamond Wrap
Off to a very hot start, the Oakdale varsity Lady Mustangs have already compiled a 7-0 mark in preseason play and junior pitcher Delainey Everett has done her part to help the team. Everett has been overpowering in the circle and is shown here in action at a weekend tournament in Ceres, taking on non-league rival Escalon in an early Saturday afternoon game, March 5. Marg Jackson/The Leader

The Oakdale High School varsity baseball team is off to a fast start having taken two of three games during the week of Feb. 28 through March 4. Playing at home on Tuesday against the Turlock Bulldogs, the Mustangs, under first year head coach Joey Machado, demonstrated amazing offensive prowess by blasting out 13 hits to edge the Bulldogs 10-9 in a game shortened by darkness. Senior pitcher Andrew Sapwell struggled a bit in the first inning hitting two batsmen, walking two others and giving up one hit as the Bulldogs took a two run lead. The Mustangs battled back in the bottom of the first on singles by senior John Wylie (3-for-4 with a walk) and junior Alex Jones (3-for-4) plus a walk by senior Landon Nunes (1-for-3) to narrow the score to 2-1. Following a quiet Turlock half of the second stanza, the Mustangs exploded for eight runs on seven hits including back-to-back triples by junior Donovan Johnson (1-for-4 with a walk) and Nunes. Also garnering hits in the second were Jones, senior Nate Criswell (1-for-3 with a walk), and senior Tate Cassaretto (1-for-4). Johnson’s triple knocked in two runs as did Cassaretto’s double. Also getting RBIs in the inning were Nunes, Jones, and senior Lucas Cox (1-for-4). The Mustangs would score their final run in the third on a walk to Johnson, a stolen base and an RBI single by senior catcher Preston Vierra (1-for-3 with a walk).

Leading 10-2 after three innings all looked good for the Mustangs. But then the Bulldogs began to slowly chip away at the host team. Starting the fourth, Sapwell, after striking out the leadoff batter, hit a batsman, walked another and then surrendered a single to load the bases with one out. Machado then opted to go to the bullpen bringing in senior Devon Rogers. Rogers also struggled a bit, walking in three runs before getting out of the inning. While Bulldog relief pitchers James Kiehn and Jack Claes held the Mustangs in check for the remainder of the game, the Bulldog offense began to get hot in the later innings. The Bulldogs pushed through a run in the fifth inning off of Mustang reliever Dominic Solorio. Solorio then worked a perfect sixth inning. With the sun having set and darkness beginning to embrace the Mustang baseball venue, the leadoff Turlock batter in the seventh inning reached on an error. Aidan Askil then singled and left fielder Logan Hart greeted Solorio with a towering drive over the right centerfield fence to make the score 10-9 in favor of Oakdale. Machado pulled Solorio for junior Donovan Johnson who surrendered a double, struck out the Bulldogs’ clean-up hitter, then gave up a single to place runners at the corners with one out. At that point, the umpiring crew, after consulting the Turlock head coach, Sean Gilbert, called the game on account of darkness out of concern for potential injury to a player or players as the ball was difficult to see. Consequently, the Mustangs were able to claim the 10-9 victory.

On Wednesday the Mustangs faced off against the Gregori Jaguars from Modesto. On the strength of a four-hitter from senior pitcher, and future Long Beach State 49er, Nate Criswell, plus more outstanding hitting by Wylie (2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI), Cassaretto (1-for-3), Nunes (1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI), Johnson, Cox and Criswell (each of whom went 1-for-3), walked away with a 7-0 shutout.

On Friday, the Mustangs traveled to Atwater and were defeated 4-2 by the Atwater Falcons, despite strong hitting by Wylie (2-for-4), Cox (1-for-1), Vierra (2-for-3), and Jones (2-for-3).


Lady Mustang Softball

There isn’t a better way to start the season than with a perfect record. And that’s just what head coach Larry Loger’s Lady Mustangs have done, as they have rolled to a string of shutout victories to kick off their campaign.

After completing tournament play in Ceres on Saturday, the varsity girls had a 7-0 record, going back to their preseason opener with Enochs, an 11-0 win on Feb. 25. Junior Delainey Everett drove in five runs and struck out 11 hitters, doing the job at the plate and the mound in that game.

On Feb. 28, it was a tighter contest, a 2-0 win against Tracy; Everett struck out 14.

Tournament play at George Costa Field in Ceres saw the girls busy with two games on Thursday, March 3 and three more on Saturday, March 5. All were shutout victories, as the girls extended their streak to seven games without allowing a run.

On Thursday, sophomore Raegan Everett got the win, 10-0, against Central Valley, striking out seven. Danny Romo and Amanda Bricker each notched two hits; Presley Barnes and Bricker each drove in two runs.

The night game Thursday was a 5-0 win over Merced. Delainey Everett struck out 13 in the contest; Barnes had two hits and two RBI.

Saturday started with a 5-0 win against Lodi, with Raegen Everett notching nine strikeouts and Kylie Valente driving in a pair of runs.

Then it was a 9-0 thrashing of Escalon, Delainey Everett striking out 12 on the afternoon. She added a two-run homer at the plate to support her own cause, while Romo had three hits.

They closed out the tournament with a 14-0 verdict over Franklin. Sophomore Bailey Peterson drove in three runs and had four hits on the day to pace a 12-hit Lady Mustang attack. Delainey Everett and Bricker added two hits apiece and Raegen Everett struck out six in the win.

Senior Tate Cassaretto takes the throw as the base runner slides in safely during recent action on the home field. The varsity boys won two of their three games this past week. Jeff Kettering/The Leader