Sports

Stanford's Tyler Gaffney a big hit in his debut with the Oaks

 

By Colin Becht

Palo Alto Online Sports

Stanford junior Tyler Gaffney made an immediate impact for the Palo Alto Oaks on Sunday.

The two-sport star chose to stay in the area during the summer to continue working on his football skills. Gaffney still had Sundays free, so he joined the Oaks.

Gaffney, who hit safely in Stanford's last 22 baseball games this spring, tripled in his first at-bat with the Oaks and scored on a wild pitch.

He later added a double in support of Matt Campbell's two-hit shutout as Palo Alto beat the San Jose Baysox, 3-0, in the opener of a Western Baseball Association Stan Musial Division doubleheader at Baylands Athletic Center.

The Oaks won the nightcap, 13-2, in a five-inning game. Menlo College senior Jason Kleinhoffer from Palo Alto High recorded the win.

Campbell struck out nine in throwing the complete-game victory for the Oaks (10-0), who host Fontanetti's in a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Baylands. He did not allow a baserunner past first base.

Paly grad Evan Warner and Sam Wilkens each drove in an insurance run for Palo Alto. Gaffney and Gunn grad Greg Matson each had two hits.

In the second game, Anthony Bona doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs for the Oaks, who broke the game open with six runs in the second.

Palo Alto took advantage of three Baysox errors in the inning while Will Klein and Nick Borg each doubled.

In the fourth, Warner singled in Bryan Beres who had walked to begin the inning.

In the fifth, Allen Stiles led off the inning with a walk. After Wilkens singled, Bona doubled to drive in a run, Borg hit a sacrifice fly then ripped a double that scored Stiles. Klein's three-run double sealed the victory.

Brant Norlander and Graham Rodriguez each pitched an inning to finish the win.

In Sacramento during the weekend, the Menlo Park Legends won three of four games and improved to 14-5 this summer.

On Friday, the Legends defeated Pro Player Baseball, 6-1. The following day, Menlo Park dropped a 9-7 decision to the Auburn Hills Mudcats.

Sunday was huge for the Legends, who swept a doubleheader from the Seattle Studs, who finished second at last summer's National Baseball Congress World Series. Menlo Park won the opener, 7-6, before taking the nightcap, 3-1.

"It was very satisfying for me to beat the Studs this year," said Menlo Park manager David Klein. "This weekend marked the start of a very competitive stretch of games, and this was a great sign for us to take two games from the Studs, a really prestigious competitor. We always seem to bring our 'A' game versus quality competitors. I'm really optimistic as we go against the nationally recognized teams from Southern California in the near future."

Menlo Park's Pierson Jeremiah went 4-for-7 in the two games with a double and two RBI.

In the first game, outfielder Cody Larson capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double, putting the Legends up 7-0. The Studs made it interesting by scoring a run in the sixth and five in the seventh, but the Legends held on for a win.

Rich McCaffrey started Game 2 and went a solid five innings for the Legends, allowing three hits and striking out four batters.

Luke McCreesh came in and threw a perfect inning, and Corey Zirbes came in for the save threw another flawless inning. The Legends pitching staff combined for 14 strikeouts in the doubleheader.

The Legends travel to Humboldt on Tuesday to face the Steelheads at Arcata Ballpark at 7 p.m., weather permitting.

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