STOCKTON — Weston Ranch was hoping to ride the momentum of its upset win from the previous day at Oakdale into Thursday’s Valley Oak League rematch in front of the home fans.
"We showed up with no intent and no purpose," said Cougars coach Dave Hager following his team's disappointing 6-2 loss.
Weston Ranch — which notched its first-ever win against Oakdale on Wednesday — had trouble finding the plate at crucial times and was also haunted by throwing errors.
"When you give a good teams free bases, they'll take advantage of it every time," Hager said.
The Cougars (1-7 VOL, 9-11 overall) took advantage of some of their early opportunities.
Shortstop Anthony Aguilar, for starters, drew a lead-off walk in the first inning. He swiped second and scored on Isaiah Maxie's towering double to center.
The Mustangs (5-3, 11-6) tied the game at the top of the second. Alex Daoud's single to right plated Max Moore, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame.
Weston Ranch reclaimed the lead in the home half of the inning on Anthony Chavez's RBI single that delivered Carlos Souza, who easily scored from third — he got there by drawing a walk, scooting to second on a throwing error, and advancing on Rogelio Ruvalcaba's sacrifice bunt.
A pair of wild pitches in the third inning coupled by three walks and a hit batsman led to two runs by Oakdale.
The Mustangs added to their 3-2 lead with another run in the fourth, with Jacob Solorio's double scoring Daoud, who was 3 for 4 at the plate.
They had a chance to add to that with two outs and the bases loaded but Ruvalcaba's running grab in center field averted further disaster.
Oakdale made it 5-2 in the seventh. Moore singled and rounded the bases thanks to a pair of throwing errors.
Meanwhile, Josh Garcia came in long relief for the Mustangs, entering the game in the second inning with one out. After starting off by surrendering a single to Aguilar, he mowed through the Weston Ranch lineup, retiring 17 of the next 20 batter -- the three that did reach base came as a result of swinging third strikes.
Garcia, in addition, struck out 14.
"We knew they would bring him early," said Hager of Oakdale's senior right hander. "And when he came in, we failed to make the adjustments (at the plate)."