Oakdale High School’s varsity baseball players battled their way to two non-league victories this past week. They started off with a 5-0 road win over Merced and the following day the boys knocked off visiting Pitman 4-1.
Due to weather conditions, the originally scheduled home game against Merced was relocated to Merced on short notice. This did not affect the team as they went into the Bears field and shut out the home team. Starting pitcher Marcus Juarez pitched five strong innings and earned his first win of the season. He gave up just two hits and struck out three. In relief Jacob Solorio pitched two hitless innings and struck out a pair. At the plate Solorio went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Austin Meeks went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
On Thursday, Feb. 28 the team had their first home game. Oakdale scored two runs in the second and tacked on two more in the fifth to pull away from the visiting Pride. With one out in the bottom of the second, Meeks scored from third on a wild pitch for the first run of the game. Josh Gerber hit a fielder’s choice RBI to score Hayden Knittel from third at the next at bat to make it 2-0.
Pitman got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as Landyn Magina hit an RBI single to right field to score Jay Huerta from second with one out. With a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Max Moore notched a two RBI double that scored both Alex Daoud and Evan Waite with one out to advance the Mustangs lead to 4-1.
Starting on the mound for Oakdale was Knittel. The senior pitched five full innings and gave up three hits, issued three walks and struck out four, resulting in one earned run. The bullpen saw action as Brett Maddock pitched one inning with one hit, one walk and also struck out one batter. Maddock threw a total of 19 pitches.
In the top of the seventh inning Josh Garcia came in as the closer for the Mustangs. He faced five batters and threw a total of 22 pitches to earn the save. After giving up a leadoff single to left field, Garcia struck out the next batter and walked the third batter he faced. Garcia then struck out the next batter. With two outs, and runners on first and second, Garcia faced Magina. With a full count, Magina hit a ground ball to Meeks who threw it to first baseman Solorio for the final out.
“I’m proud of our pitching as of late. They all do their jobs well, I like where this is going,” said head coach Chris Henry.
Oakdale was scheduled to play Saturday, March 2 at Cosumnes Oaks but due to the rainy weather, the game was rescheduled for Monday, March 11 at 3:30 p.m. Their next game will be home against Buhach Colony this Thursday, March 7 with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. It will be a busy week for the Mustangs as they will also play at Atwater on Friday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m. and then again Saturday, March 9 against Merced. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 11 a.m.
In their lone game of the week, Oakdale fell to visiting Pitman 7-6. Lukas Cox started the game and pitched an inning and two-thirds before being pulled. At the plate Carson Cripe went 1-for-3 with a double and Andre Becerra hit a bases clearing double for Oakdale. Dom Antinetti had a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-3 in the contest. Levi Duestrerhaus had a double as well.
The youngest Oakdale boys picked up a 10-2 road win over Pitman. Pitcher AJ Sapwell had a big afternoon as he went 1-for-2 at the plate and had two RBI and scored a run. He entered the game in relief and earned the win on the hill. Jacob Gugnard went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and Dalton Vargas added two more RBI for Oakdale. Tate Cassaretto was patient at the plate and was issued two walks but also had two hits resulting in an RBI and a run scored.