STOCKTON – The Delta Mustangs find themselves one victory away from the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball State Championship with a pair of former Manteca area standouts right in the middle of the Mustangs’ success.
Former Manteca High shortstop Ricky Acosta and the Bulletin’s 2009 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year Andy Scott teamed up hitting second and third in a Delta College lineup that collected 19 hits in Saturday’s13-6 win over Sierra College.
Acosta is Delta’s starting shortstop. He put together a solid error-free nine innings while collecting three hits in the crucial playoff win. The former Buffalo came around to score a run and also drove in a pair with a double down the right field line.
Scott, the starting second baseman, was impressive hitting in the middle of a talented offensive group that can hit the baseball from top-to-bottom. Scott and Acosta teamed up in the in the fourth inning, when Scott followed Acosta’s RBI double by driving him in with a knock three pitches later.
Delta will have to beat the winner of the Sierra-Consumes River contest on Sunday to advance to the State Championships. The Mustangs will have two chances if things don’t work out in the first game, but the group is poised to seal the deal.
“For these playoff’s everybody is kind of getting hot right now,” Acosta said after the win. “We had 19 hits, scored five runs in that second inning; we just sort of started clicking on all cylinders.
“We have the pitching and we have the depth to make a run at this, and everybody is playing with confidence.”
Acosta led the club in hits this season. He recently added some postseason-pop, hitting his first two homeruns of the season at the most important time. Scott finished the regular season tied for second on the team in homeruns and has hit in each of Delta’s four postseason wins.
“They’ve been solid all year for us,” Delta head coach Reed Peters said. “Ricky’s just been phenomenal defensively and Andy Scott the same thing; they’ve turned a ton of double plays for us. They both are doing it offensively for us as well.”
Peters attests that Acosta has improved his arm strength during his time at Delta and has worked himself into a “division one shortstop”. Scott had already found a home at the NCAA Division I ranks, but injuries brought on his return to the valley from St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
Both players were prepared for the opportunity to try to lift Delta to a state championship. When they were high school players they stood out amongst the Valley Oak League’s elite, and now they are making major contributions to one of the state’s top community college baseball programs.
Scott was emphatic when asked how well his time playing at Sierra under head coach Jack Thomson got him ready for the moments he is experiencing this postseason and throughout the season-long Delta grind as a whole.
“Coach Thomson does a great job over there, he really prepared me beyond words for the college transition,” Scott said. “I’ve grown up so much since I got to Sierra my freshman year and that is a lot of him. I had a good freshman year playing varsity, and I don’t know, maybe my head got a little big, but he helped me, he understood and he got me back on track.
“He helped me grow so much as a player during my four years there.”
The Mustangs will look to solidify their trip to the State Championships in Bakersfield Friday with a win over their opponent at 11 a.m. Game two, if needed, will be immediately following the first at Delta College.