Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Islanders Baseball Goes 3-1 in Lions Tournament

Islanders mob their teammate Chance Pettit after his walk-off single vs Mission Hills (Photo By Joan C. Fahrenthold)

For anyone who has ever had the opportunity to play in, or heard of, the Lions Baseball Tournament, you know it is one of the country’s most challenging prep baseball tournaments. It puts you up against the best and often reveals what a team is truly made of.  

For the Islanders baseball team, this past week of four days of games in the Lions Tournament was a test that they passed with flying colors going 3-1 in pool play, picking up wins vs. Multiple DI Opponents. 

After an opening 5-4 win vs. Scripps Ranch followed by a tough loss to La Jolla Country Day, the Islanders welcomed Mission Hills High School to Chaconas Field.  

Mission Hills jumped out to a small 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but that lead was short-lived as the Islanders quickly responded. After two quick outs in the bottom half of the inning, Aidan Ramirez stepped up to the plate. On a 1-1 pitch, Ramirez launched a towering home run over the left-field wall to make it a 1-1 game heading to the third. 

However, Mission Hills would have a counterpunch of their own. In the top half of the 3rd, Mission Hills tacked on four runs to take a 5-1 lead putting the Islanders in a rather large hole, but the Islanders continued to battle. 

Despite giving up the early runs, one of which was unearned, Islander starter Max Murray battled on the mound and wound up turning in six innings of four run ball, striking out nine. 

Much like Murray, the Islanders also battled back at the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, the Islanders would strike back as they plated three runs thanks to an RBI walk by Patch Moore and a two-out RBI single by senior Tony Miley to make it a 5-4 ball game. 

The fifth and sixth innings would breeze by, but in the seventh, Mission Hills tacked on a run to make it a 6-4 game heading to the last of the seventh. 

Coronado Islander shortstop Ryan Ward hits a triple in the seventh inning against Mission Hills to tie the game 6-6 (Photo By Joan C. Fahrenthold)

The Islanders would waste little time getting things going with just three outs to play with. Moore and Miley led off the inning with back-to-back singles, putting two runners on and bringing Ryan Ward to the plate. On a 2-1 pitch, Ward sent a screaming liner off the right-center fencing for a game-tying triple. 

Coronado Islander Patch Moore celebrates with teammates after scoring in the seventh inning to tie the game against Mission Hills . The Islanders went on to win the game 7-6 in a walk off. (Photo by Joan C. Fahrenthold)

With the winning run on third and no outs, it was up to Chance Pettit to finalize the game, and the Islander’s three-hole hitter delivered as he flicked a 1-1 slider into right, scoring Ward and giving the Islanders the thrilling 7-6 comeback victory.  

Islander Chance Pettit Celebrates with teammate Max Murray after his walk off single vs. Mission Hills
Photo By Joan C. Fahrenthold

“I think we have started to be more aggressive in hitters’ counts,” said Cummins, “which has led to more offense. It was a total team effort throughout the week, and it was nice to see a lot of different guys step up.” 

With pool play record at 2-1, they had one final game vs. San Diego baseball powerhouse Eastlake High School. 

The Islanders’ bats came out hot, as, after a lead-off single and back-to-back walk to Ward and Pettit, the Islanders had bases loaded for Dylan Noble. The senior sent a seed to the right, scoring two and giving the Islanders an early 2-0 advantage. The Islanders would keep the early inning runs coming as in the third Moore scored on a two-out error to extend the lead to 3-0 heading to the third. 

To go along with the early offense, the Islanders also received yet another strong outing from the starter, as he worked four innings of two-run ball while striking out four. 

With the game at 3-2 heading to the later innings, the Islanders looked to widen the gap, and in the bottom of the fifth, they would do just that. The inning started with three singles from Ward (who has appeared near impossible to get out for the last three weeks), Harley Harrington, and Noble. With the bags full of Islanders, Ramirez stepped up big yet again, delivering a bases-clearing double, and making it a 6-2 game. 

But the Islanders weren’t entirely done. After a single by Shane Cannon and an RBI groundout by Colton Miller made it 7-2, it was freshman Moore’s turn to get in on the action. 

Moore, who has had a tremendous first season as an Islander, stepped up and clobbered a 2-0 fastball over the left-field wall, putting an exclamation point on a 6-run Islanders fifth and ultimately the final push in the Coronado’s 9-5 victory over Eastlake. 

“I think it gives us the confidence that we can win any game that we play if we play great baseball. Hopefully it will give us a spark, but momentum only goes as far as the next game’s starting pitcher,” said Cummins.

Islander baseball will be back in action this week with two league games. The first a home game vs. University City on April 20th, with first-pitch at 4pm and the other a road matchup, again vs. University City, on Friday, April 22nd.

 



Clark Fahrenthold
Clark Fahrenthold
Clark is a recent graduate from Sonoma State University where he received his BA in Communications and a minor in History. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf, tennis, and running. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]
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