The Lancers suffered a tough 3-1 loss to Oakdale in Wednesday's Valley Oak League opener at Agostini Field.
"It was a well-played game by both teams," said East Union High coach Gene Ballardo.
The game also featured a pitching duel between the Lancers' Fernando Segura and Brett Maddox of the Mustangs.
Segura scattered eight hits while twice getting out of jams.
In the second inning, he had a runner in scoring position but was helped out with an inning-ending diving grab by centerfielder Cameron Ceja.
Segura had a bases-loaded situation in the third with one out. He came back with a big strikeout followed by a fly ball to center.
"Fernando did a good job on the mound," said Ballardo of his senior hurler.
Sophomore Jaydin Alvarez faced one batter while pitching in relief in the seventh.
By then, Oakdale (1-0 VOL, 7-3 overall) had scored the go-ahead runs.
The game was scoreless after four innings, with the Mustangs manufacturing a run on back-to-back one-out singles by Josh Gerber and Alex Daoud. Maddox helped his cause by making contact on a hit-and-run play, scoring the hustling Gerber from second.
East Union (0-1, 8-4) tied game in the sixth thanks to a double steal.
With runners on the corners — Alvarez and Zach White had consecutive hits with one out — White, who was at first, was tied up between bases. Alvarez then broke to the plate from the third, beating the tag for the run.
With the game even at 1-1, Gerber opened the seventh with a bunt single. He subsequently stole second.
Segura got the next two batters on a ground out and a pop up.
But then Maddox drew a walk and Jacob Solorio and Austin Meeks came through with timely RBI singles to put the Mustangs ahead.
Maddox, who allowed four hits while fanning eight, struck out the side to the end the game.
"I thought our approach at the plate could have been better," Ballardo said.
Alvarez, Ceja, White and Segura accounted for the East Union hits.
Dominic McDonald, Gerber and Meeks had two hits each for Oakdale.
East Union 4, Oakdale 3
The Lancers (1-0, 7-3) plated all of their runs in the bottom of the fifth, getting a two-RBI hit from Austin Orr. He finished 2 for 3 with a double, accounting for half of East Union’s four hits.
Winning pitcher Willie Segura struck out three and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over five innings.