The top of the Valley Oak League baseball standings just got more crowded.
East Union dropped a 3-2 decision at Oakdale on Thursday, creating a four-team logjam that includes both teams. Central Catholic swept Kimball this week, and all four clubs are 7-3.
Oakdale was able to salvage a split in its series with the Lancers, scoring in the bottom of the fourth on a throwing error. Noah Chelberg led off with his second double of the game and scored as Dominic Antinetti attempted to advance him with a sacrifice bunt.
“We were flat and didn’t get off the bus ready to play,” East Union coach Carlos Herrera said. “The game was ours for the taking multiple times, we just didn’t take it. We couldn’t capitalize on anything today and let Oakdale hang around.”
The Lancers struggled to get the big hit until the top of the sixth when they scored their lone runs to tie it. Jacob Toste, who finished 3 for 3, led off with a single and was driven in by Mateo Guevara’s triple. Guevara tied it when Ashton Heath reached on an error.
Oakdale scored its first two runs in the second. Joey Janssen plated Chelberg (doubled) and scored on a wild pitch.
Oakdale starter John Wylie scattered eight hits and fanned four in 5 2/3 innings. Chelberg retired the final four batters in order, striking out two for the win. Heath pitched three innings for East Union, and Evan Jeffery struck out two in 1 1/3 innings in relief.
East Union is off from league play next week with Ripon quarantined because of positive COVID-19 tests.
Manteca 10, Escalon 1
Freshman Rex Watson hit a solo homer, helping Manteca (6-4 VOL) complete a series sweep of the visiting Cougars (2-8). The Buffaloes belted eight hits but also drew eight walks.
Joaquin Gurrola went 2 for 4 with two runs. Dylan DePrater and Jason Ingraca also scored two runs apiece. Andrew Maki contributed an RBI double.
Zach Todd pitched a four-hitter, striking out nine.
Sierra 3, Manteca 1
The Timberwolves (3-1 VOL) rebounded from their loss to East Union, rallying past their other cross-town rival at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Sophomore A.J. Paz assisted all three goals for Sierra, which trailed early on. Paul Pimentel knotted it in the 35th minute, and Adrian Ramirez struck twice in the second half.
Weston Ranch 4, Oakdale 3
Weston Ranch (2-1-1 VOL) escaped with a thrilling road win. Dannick Hernandez’s goal, assisted by Sergio Rayo, in the 59th minute was the difference.
The Cougars kicked off the back-and-forth barrage by jumping out to a 2-0 lead with goals coming from Ivan Guerra (10th minute) and Angel Zapata (19’).
Oakdale responded by netting two unanswered. Guerra momentarily put the Ranch back ahead in the three minutes into the second half, and the Mustangs answered in the next minute.