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Cougars’ 2-way standout is first Ranch player to earn top honor
Rylan Tinsley pitches for Weston Ranch in the Cougars’ Valley Oak League opener at Manteca. The senior pitcher/center fielder has been named the Valley Oak League MVP. - photo by Photos by SEAN KAHLER

Weston Ranch may have come up short of its first-ever postseason berth, but it still managed to make program history this past baseball season.

Two-way standout Rylan Tinsley, who recently signed with Stanislaus State, is the first Cougars player to be named Valley Oak League MVP. Weston Ranch finished in sixth place with a 6-8 record (11-11-2 overall) but had some say in the crowded race for the title.

Tinsley and the Cougars ended up knocking Sierra out of contention for at least a share of the championship with their 4-3 victory during the final week of the season. The left-handed Tinsley pitched in that contest, striking out nine over 5 2/3 innings. He compiled a 3-3 record with a 2.10 ERA while batting .357 in league. His overall numbers are more impressive: 5-3 record, 1.57 ERA, 88 strikeouts in 58 innings; .429 average, four homers, 13 RBIs and 20 steals.

When he wasn’t pitching, Tinsley started in center field.

“Rylan wasn’t just a position and he wasn’t just a pitcher — he’s both and he does it at a high level,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “If we don’t have Rylan we probably don’t win six games in league. He’s a difference maker in a league that is very tough top to bottom.

“Rylan took the ball every Tuesday and he competed. I don’t think there was anybody who was a better all-around player in our league.”

Chris Henry is Coach of the Year after leading Oakdale (11-3 VOL, 17-11 overall) to the title, and Mustang slugger Jacob Solorio (.487, three homers, 15 RBIs) is Offensive Player of the Year.

League runner-up Sierra (10-4, 18-11) has two of the area’s seven players on the All-VOL first team in senior outfielder Chase Sperbeck (.326, eight steals) and pitcher/outfielder Jacob Peterson (3-3, 2.18; .349, 12 RBIs). Peterson is a three-time All-VOL first-team selection, making it as a pitcher his sophomore year, an outfielder in 2017 and utility player. The Timberwolves finished third in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs in the final year of longtime coach Jack Thomson, who ended with 607 career wins — second most all-time in the SJS. 

Manteca sophomore pitcher Ryan Ward (4-2, 1.74 ERA) and junior shortstop Alex Gouveia (.375, 12 RBIs) made the first team for a second straight year. Center fielder Gino Campiotti (.372) is the third Buffalo on the first team, completing a decorated senior year in which he was named All-VOL MVP for football and to the all-league first team in basketball. 

Manteca (9-5, 17-10-1) placed third in league and reached the SJS playoffs for a ninth consecutive year.

Fifth-place East Union (7-7, 10-12) has two all-league players in shortstop Daniel Marquez (.360, seven RBIs) and Brayden Hardcastle (.400, eight RBIs), a two-time first-team honoree.

Earning spots on the All-VOL second team: Sierra pitcher Slyder Blyth, Sierra shortstop Jesse Ortiz-Martinez, Manteca second baseman Kyle Rachels, Lathrop third baseman Shawn Cummings, Weston Ranch infielder Austin Cappas, Manteca right fielder Matthew Ender and Weston Ranch outfielder James Peavy.