The Oakdale High baseball team didn’t skip a beat under first-year coach Chris Henry.
The Mustangs (17-11, 11-4) defended their Valley Oak League championship, edging Sierra (18-10, 10-4) and Manteca (17-10-1, 9-5) in an exciting race decided by one game.
For his efforts, Henry, a decorated alumnus, was named the VOL Coach of the Year.
The Mustangs reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament, defeating Pacheco in the first round by mercy rule.
Oakdale was eventually eliminated by Beyer, the Modesto Metro Conference co-champion and D-III finalist. Yet, the Mustangs’ fall has been cushioned by an array of postseason awards, as voted on by the league's coaches.
Junior Jacob Solorio was named the VOL’s Offensive Player of the Year after hitting .487 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. Solorio topped an all-VOL honor roll lined with Mustangs.
Oakdale earned a league-high four first-team selections, led by the junior battery of Josh Garcia and catcher Max Moore. Garcia was 5-0 with a 0.22 ERA in league play, while Moore, an everyday presence behind the plate, hit .432 with a .989 fielding percentage.
Junior infielder Dylan Wright and senior outfielder Corey Hinojosa rounded out the Mustangs’ first-team selections. Wright hit .367 with 17 RBI, tops among all first-team infielders. After a slow start to the season, Hinojosa hit .500 in 14 league games, also tops among all-league outfielders.
Weston Ranch’s Rylan Tinsley was named the Most Valuable Player. Tinsley was 3-3 with a 2.10 ERA as the Cougars’ frontline starter. He also boasted a .357 average.
Manteca and Kimball had three first-team selections apiece.
One year after ranking among the Sac-Joaquin Section’s leaders in wins, Manteca ace Ryan Ward showed no signs of a sophomore slump. Ward went 4-2 in league with a 1.74 ERA. He was joined on the first team by teammates Alex Gouveia (.375 average, 12 RBIs) and Gino Campiotti (.372).
Gabe Cortinas (5-2, 1.61 ERA), Justin Schober (.440, 10 stolen bases) and Drew Riddick (.324) landed on the first team for Kimball, one of our VOL teams with 15 or more total wins.
Sierra and East Union had two first-team selections.
The Timberwolves’ Chase Sperbeck (.326 average, eight stolen bases) and Jacob Peterson (3-3, 2.18 ERA, .349 average) were honored by the league’s coaches, while East Union infielders Brayden Hardcastle (.400 average) and Daniel Marquez (.360 average) rounded out the first team.
The second team included: Pitchers Slyder Blyth of Sierra and Alex Escobar of Central Catholic; catcher Miguel Olivo of Central Catholic; infielders Jesse Ortiz-Martinez of Sierra, Dane Gibson of Oakdale, Kyle Rachels of Manteca, Shawn Cummins of Lathrop, and Weston Ranch’s Austin Cappas; outfielders Matthew Ender of Manteca, James Peavy of Weston Ranch, and Matthew Akulow of Central Catholic.
Those that earned an honorable mention were: Oakdale’s Alex Daoud, Hunter Ginger and Jake Elting; Manteca’s Dominic Rea, Rafael Diaz, Ferrin Manuleleua, Zach Chamberlain, and Dylan Gross; Weston Ranch’s Gabriel Megar and Isaac Espino; Central Catholic’s Joey Mundt and Orlando Leon; Sierra’s Julian Cantu and Hunter Frisk; Kimball’s Joe Slotnick, Jacob Juarez, and Jake Wilson; East Union’s Fernando Segura, Mason James and Andrew Mount; and Lathrop’s Colin Weis.