Valley Oak League Standings
School league overall
Oakdale 8-0 17-4
Sonora 5-2 13-6
Manteca 5-3 11-6
Kimball 4-4 8-4
Sierra 2-5 10-7
Weston Ranch 2-5 5-10
Lathrop 2-5 8-8
East Union 2-6 7-9
East Union suffered its fourth one-run loss in Valley Oak League play Friday, falling 3-2 at Sonora.
Sonora’s sweep puts the Lancers (2-6, 7-9 overall) in a huge hole with six games remaining.
No one would have predicted that the 2011 VOL co-champions would be in last place at around the midway point, but with their toughest opponents behind them they have a chance to make a run for one of the three playoff spots.
But it won’t be easy. East Union has to go through a gauntlet of other postseason hopefuls to end the regular season. First is a two-game series with crosstown rival Sierra next week.
“We’ll see if we can make a little run,” East Union coach Dan Triglia said. “We’ll get back to work on Monday and go from there.”
Curtis Kellogg belted the deciding hit for Sonora (5-2, 13-6). Justin Payne reached on a catcher’s interference to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, and made it to second on a sacrifice bunt before Kellogg knocked him home.
East Union held a short-lived lead in the third. Steven Gigli led off with a double and was driven in by Brock Swift’s double. Swift would score on a wild pitch to push the Lancers ahead 2-1. Sonora knotted it up in the bottom half with an RBI rap from Bradley Begley.
It was a pitcher’s duel between two aces.
For Sonora, left-handed Ryan Stevenson fanned eight, walked three and hit one in a four-hitter. Jordan Kron threw six complete for the Lancers, also striking out eight while walking two and scattering five hits.
East Union had the tying run on base in the final inning when Alex Dias reached on an error, but Stevenson struck out the next three in order.
“It was another close game for us,” Triglia said. “The kids played well enough to win we just didn’t get the win. It was a tough loss.”
Oakdale 12, Sierra 2 (6)
In Oakdale, the host Mustangs (8-0, 17-4) took advantage of six walks and three hit batters while collecting 15 hits.
Sierra (2-5, 10-7) didn’t scratch across a run until the fourth to close in, 4-1. Oakdale broke it open with a five-run barrage in the bottom half.
Justin Martin and Eddie Machado both went 2 for 3 with a triple for Oakdale, and Lane Branch drove in three runs.
Kimball 16, Weston Ranch 6 (6)
In Tracy, Weston Ranch (2-5, 5-10) committed four errors that led to five unearned runs in the first inning. Kimball (4-4, 8-4) led 9-0 going into the second.
“We were our worst enemy,” Weston Ranch coach Ron Wayman said.
Marcus Vega-Tatum went 2 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the Cougars’ offense. Tyler Scharnow also drove in a pair while throwing 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Manteca 12, Lathrop 2 (5)
The Buffaloes (7-1, 11-5) got two hits each from Nick Brooks, Austin Chapman and Alex Jorgensen in Friday’s mercy-shortened contest against visiting Lathrop.
Chapman and Jorgensen both legged out two doubles, and Brooks added another. Dillon Lauborough finished with three RBIs.
Tom Reich pitched four strong innings, striking out four and yielding four hits. Brooks logged an inning in relief.