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Oakmont falls in coach's final game

Perkins steps down after 25 years, 17 playoff appearances
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Oakmont High School?s 17th playoff appearance in Dean Perkins? 25 years as baseball coach ended Friday evening with a 6-5 loss to McClatchy in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs at American River College.

Afterward, Perkins announced to his team, coaches and others he was stepping down. He cited family, health and even baseball ? as in potentially playing again ? as reasons why.

?I wanna do stuff,? said Perkins, who coached 32 years total.

The Vikings (18-9) led 4-2 early but couldn?t stop the Metro League-champion Lions, who scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a bases-loaded grounder to first by Jared James, a son of former major-leaguer Dion James. McClatchy scored in every inning but the sixth.

Oakmont?s bottom third of the batting order scored all five runs: two each by Justin Garvin and Robert Walton and one by Ryan Gearing.

Garvin said it was a great year for the Vikings.

?This is one of the strongest teams,? he said. ?As the season progressed, we all got better. Our goal was to make the playoffs.?

Perkins pointed to a healthy pitching staff as a key to Oakmont?s success. He said the Vikings worked hard and practiced hard.

?The seniors treated the juniors with respect, and the juniors treated the seniors with respect,? he said.

Granite Bay won the nightcap 11-3 over Del Campo and will play McClatchy at noon Saturday in the opener of a best-of-three series. Sierra Foothill League rivals Woodcreek and Rocklin play at 3 p.m. in the other semifinal series opener.