Three Manteca errors in two innings led to three Oakdale runs Friday and the Mustangs kept the Buffaloes off the board the rest of the way to go back to Oakdale with a 4-2 Valley Oak League baseball win, sweeping the season home-and-home series.
“When you give good teams extra outs it’s just a matter of time before the hits start falling,” Manteca coach Neil MacDannald said. “I was proud of Raf (Diaz, Manteca’s starting pitcher) and the way he battled and pitched his tail off. I was proud of our enthusiasm and our effort, for sure.
“We had a couple of pretty big mistakes but we never got down and we never gave up. We fought to the very end. When you do that and you play like you are capable of playing you will finish on the positive more than the down side. We have to focus a little bit and clean it up and we will be in good shape.”
The Buffaloes (2-2 VOL, 11-6 overall) took a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning. Donnie McDonald reached on a fielder’s choice for the Mustangs (4-2, 10-5) and was allowed to score thanks to an error on a double by Alex Daoud (3 for 4, RBI, double, run). Hayden Knittle (RBI, run) followed with a triple to plate Daoud to give Oakdale a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish. The Mustangs added an insurance run in the seventh inning when Daoud singled in Dominic McDonald who had belted a one-out triple.
Manteca got a runner aboard in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but could not get past first base.
“This was Oakdale-Manteca,” Mustangs coach Chris Henry said. “Both schools pull in phenomenal athletes and the kids play until the last out. That’s all we can ask for.”
The Buffaloes used an early pair of Oakdale errors to take a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Dylan Gross (2 for 3, RBI, run) led off the Manteca second with a single, advanced to second on error off the bat of Zach Todd and came home on Dylan Guice’s double.
Ryan Ward reached for Manteca on a one-out error in the third inning. He stole second, took third on Dom Day’s groundout and came home on a single by Gross for a 2-0 lead.