Oakdale High's Josh Garcia went the distance in a 3-1 victory over Atwater, scattering five hits while striking out five, walking one and allowing an unearned run on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at Klein Family Field on the campus of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. (Joe Cortez/Front Row Preps)

Season ends for four local teams, while Los Banos and Mariposa are one win a way from banners

Joe Cortez

STOCKTON — It was a bad day for the city of Atwater at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III baseball playoffs on Wednesday at Klein Family Field, on the campus of the University of the Pacific.

Fifth-seeded Oakdale High scored a mild upset, ending No. 3 Atwater’s season with a 3-1 victory in the early game at UOP, while top-seeded Buhach Colony fell 7-4 to No. 2 Ponderosa and will face Oakdale on Thursday at 6 p.m. at UOP for the right to face Ponderosa for the section championship. Ponderosa, by the way, still has a loss to burn in this double-elimination portion of the tournament.

In Division IV,  No. 3 Central Catholic survived an elimination game by beating sixth-seeded Livingston 5-4 and ending the Trans-Valley League champions’ season. The Raiders will advance to another elimination game on Thursday at Lodi’s Tony Zupo Field, where they’ll play No. 2 Casa Roble, which fell 5-1 to Los Banos. The top-seeded Tigers (27-1), winners of 23 consecutive games, must now be defeated twice in a row — they haven’t lost two games this season — to be denied their first D-IV banner in 25. years. The Tigers will play either Central Catholic or Casa Roble on Monday at a time and site to be determined.

In Division V, Hughson’s magical season came to a close with a 4-3 loss to Bear River at Stockton’s Stagg High School. Bear River advances to face Argonaut on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Stagg High.

In Division VI, where three of the final four teams were from the Southern League,  Ripon Christian was eliminated by SL rival Waterford, 8-6. That victory pushed the wildcats into the championship game, where SL foe Mariposa awaits. That game will be played Monday at 10 a.m. at Klein Family Field. Should Waterford win the 10 a.m. contest, a second and deciding game would follow at 1 p.m.