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Mustangs Wrap Regular Season Baseball, Softball Action
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Prior to a home game against Sierra, recognition was given to the six senior Lady Mustang softball players on the roster this season. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

The Oakdale Mustangs varsity baseball team played its way to a second place finish in the Valley Oak League and into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs by sweeping its two-game series with the Sierra Timberwolves on Tuesday and Thursday, May 3 and 5.

On Tuesday, the Mustangs got an easy 10-0 win over the Timberwolves in Manteca with the umpires invoking the mercy (10-run lead) rule after the Timberwolves had batted in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mustang pitcher John Wylie worked five complete innings and surrendered no runs on just four hits, while walking one and striking out eight.

“It was really just an average performance,” said the modest Wylie. “I had pretty good stuff and was helped by some good defensive plays in the field.”

On the offensive side of the ball, senior shortstop Landon Nunes went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. Senior first baseman Lukas Cox was 3-for-4 with four RBI on the day plus a run scored while senior catcher Preston Vieira went 3-for-3 with two RBI.

Thursday was Senior Day for the Mustangs who responded with 15 runs on 10 hits in defeating the Timberwolves by the score of 15-10. To fans, the old adage, “Some days you are the birds and some days you are the statue” resonated throughout the game. The fans were definitely “the statue” on Thursday as pitchers for the two teams walked 17 batters while hitting seven with pitches. Additionally, the teams committed a total of five errors in the three-hour, seven-inning game.

Senior Nate Criswell started for the Mustangs and breezed through the first inning striking out three, with one Sierra player reaching second base on an error. In their half of the opening stanza, the Mustangs exploded for four runs on four hits. Wylie led off with a grounder to deep short. Wylie’s impressive speed going down the first base line caused the Sierra shortstop to hurry his throw, which went wide for an error. Nunes then singled in Wylie, who had advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball. The red hot Vieira followed with a monster smash over the left-center field fence. Cox hit an impressive opposite field double and was knocked in by a first pitch double by junior right fielder Alex Jones to complete the scoring.

In the second inning Criswell loaded the bases on a single and two walks, but pitched out of the jam by striking out a batter and then getting another one to hit into a textbook 4-6-3 double play with senior Tate Cassaretto fielding the grounder, tossing to Nunes covering second who then relayed the throw to Cox at first. The Mustangs got two more across the plate in the second on a leadoff double by senior third baseman A J Sapwell followed by an RBI single by Wylie. Nunes then knocked in Wylie for his second RBI of the day making the score 6-0 in favor of Oakdale. The Mustangs let the Timberwolves back into the game in the top of the third as Criswell hit two batters, walked three more and gave up a two-run single to the eighth hitter in the Sierra lineup; four runs on one hit in that inning. The Mustangs responded with six runs on two hits in the bottom of the third as Sierra pitchers hit two batters, walked four and gave up two hits. The Timberwolves also committed one error in the inning as the Mustangs stormed to a 12-4 lead. In the top of the fourth, Sierra scored four more runs on two walks, two hit batsmen, two singles and an error.

Neither team scored in the fifth, but in the sixth the Timberwolves scored two runs on an error and a home run. The Mustangs responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth on three walks and a bases-clearing double by Donovan Johnson. Senior pitcher Devon Rogers set down Sierra in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the 15-10 win for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs finished the regular season with an overall record of 18-7 and a Valley Oak League record of 9-3, good for second place behind league champion Central Catholic. The Mustangs were to host Ponderosa in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs at home on Tuesday, May 10 after The Leader went to press.

Prior to the start of the home game on Thursday, the Mustangs conducted the traditional Senior Day ceremony, honoring the 13 seniors on this year’s team and their parents and other family members. The seniors included Lex Bairos, Jake Brasil, Gannon Camp, Tate Cassaretto, Lukas Cox, Nate Criswell, Diego Garcia, Landon Nunes, Devon Rogers, Andrew (AJ) Sapwell, Dominic Solorio, Preston Vieira, and John Wylie.



The Oakdale Mustang varsity softball team won a 9-3 decision over the visiting Sierra Timberwolves on Friday, May 6 at the Mustang Softball Field. It was Senior Day for the Mustangs and fans enjoyed a brief ceremony honoring Kendell Oliver, Avery Brown, Kylie Valente, Amanda Bricker, Danny Romo and Sophia Ortiz prior to the game.

Sophomore Raegan Everett was the starting pitcher for the Mustangs and worked five complete innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three. Her older sister, junior Delainey Everett worked the final two innings giving up two runs on no hits, while walking two and striking out three. A bit of a controversy arose during the game as the home plate umpire seemed to target the two Mustang pitchers for violating a rule which will not officially go into effect until next year. Head coach Larry Loger explained that starting next season, two lines, the width of the pitching rubber, will be chalked in the pitching circle and the pitcher may not move her body outside those lines until the ball is past the batter. Despite there being no lines placed off of the pitching rubber on Friday, the home plate umpire nevertheless enforced that future rule against the Mustang pitchers, calling a number of illegal pitches, causing the aforementioned walks and elongating the game to past two hours. Emotions did run a bit high and the umpiring crew did issue warnings to individual Mustang players and the team as a whole. Nevertheless, the Lady Mustangs maintained their cool and emerged with a victory.

Offensively, the varsity girls came out swinging in the first stanza with Avery Brown reaching on a throwing error by the Sierra second baseman then advancing on a passed ball and scoring on a base hit by Danny Romo. Amanda Bricker followed with a single scoring Romo, who had stolen second base. After Bricker, in turn, stole second following her hit, Raegen Everett singled to score the speedy shortstop. The Mustangs scored again in the third on a walk to Sophia Ortiz and another RBI single by Raegen Everett. The Mustangs scored two more in the fourth inning. Sophomore left fielder Presley Barnes struck out but earned first base on a passed ball error by the catcher. She advanced to second on a single by Brown and both girls advanced one more base on a passed ball. Bricker then hit a triple to right field, which scored Barnes and Brown. The Mustangs scored three in the sixth. Madi Bohannon singled, Brown and Romo both reached on errors, Delainey Everett singled, and Bricker doubled. Bohannon, Brown and Romo each scored runs. Bricker went 3-for-4 on the day, hitting for a mini-cycle (single, double and triple). In all, the Mustangs got nine hits in the game. With the win the Mustangs maintained a one game lead over Central Catholic in the VOL standings.

On Tuesday, May 10, after press time for The Leader, the Lady Mustangs and the Central Catholic Lady Raiders were scheduled to match up in Modesto for a game likely to determine if the Mustangs will be champions or co-champions of the Valley Oak League.

Earlier in the season the varsity girls edged the Raiders 1-0 at home.

In other action on May 6, the Mustang JV softball team rolled over Sierra by the score of 23-0.

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A total of 13 Mustang players on the varsity baseball team this season were seniors, honored prior to their final regular season home game on Thursday, May 5. Jeff Kettering/The Leader
Varsity baseball head coach Joey Machado, left, presented longtime Voice of the Mustangs Pete Simoncini with a signed bat from the team at the regular season finale; the retiring teacher/announcer also received gifts from the softball program presented by head coach Larry Loger at their final regular season home game. Jeff Kettering/The Leader