With their backs against the wall, the Oakdale High School varsity boys baseball team answered the challenge. Following a back-to-back loss to Central Catholic last week, Oakdale had to sweep Kimball in a two-game series to reach the postseason.
The Mustangs (17-8, 7-5) traveled to Kimball (15-11, 5-7) on Monday, May 6 in the first game of the series. Oakdale won the road game 5-0. Scoreless through five innings, Oakdale scored twice in the sixth inning and added three more in the top of the fifth. Hayden Knittel went 2-for-4 in the game and brought in two runs. Gannon Davis had two RBI and Max Moore brought in one run on two hits. Brett Maddock pitched a complete game shutout. Maddock struck out nine, surrendering four hits and one walk.
Tuesday, May 7 the Mustangs hosted Kimball. Prior to first pitch, 11 Oakdale senior players were honored for Senior Day 2019. Seniors Alex Daoud, Morgan Bairos, Jacob Elting, Josh Gerber, Josh Garcia, Marcus Juarez, Hayden Knittel, Nathan Womack, Kyle Franklin, Max Moore and Jacob Solorio were all recognized by the large crowd on hand.
“It’s a special day for all of us, hard to believe it’s here,” said Knittel.
Oakdale scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning to go up 2-0. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Oakdale tied it on an RBI single from Austin Meeks. “I was just waiting for my pitch, we all knew how important this game was and everyone did their part to help out,” said Meeks. In the bottom of the sixth inning Oakdale scored four runs including a three run double by Knittel. On the mound Josh Garcia pitched six innings.
JUNIOR VARSITY- A sweep of Kimball gave Oakdale the 2019 Valley Oak League championship. On Monday, May 6 Oakdale defeated Kimball 5-3. Cade Evans earned the win on the mound pitching 4.1 innings. Gideon Laird had a multi-hit game and two RBI and Dom Antinetti also had multiple hits. Tuesday, May 8 the boys blanked Kimball 4-0 to claim the championship. Lucas Cox pitched 5.1 innings and Brody Ferreira pitched 1.2 innings. Preston Vierra, Cox, Nathan Criswell, Carson Cripe, Antinetti and Andre Becerra all had big games, defensively as well as offensively.
“I am proud of our group for continuously wanting to get better,” said head coach Joey Machado. “Day in and day out. Baseball is a grind and it was great to see how we responded to adversity throughout the course of the year. I am excited to see what this group can do hopefully the success they had this year can be the foundation for their future here at OHS.”