For the Coronado Islanders baseball team, Wednesday’s regular-season finale was perhaps their most pivotal game of the 2022 season.
With a win over D1 opponent Scripps Ranch, a team they had bested already once this season, they would lock in a spot in the CIF D2 playoffs. However, if they were to fall, they would have a far slimmer chance of making it into the postseason.
Additionally, with last Wednesday’s game being their final home game of 2022, it was also senior day for the Islanders as seniors Aidan Ramirez, Tristan Rinko, Tommy Dull, Tommy Rak, Gavin O’Dea, Ousseynou Kouyate, Tommy Pate, Liam Conlon, Tony Miley, Dylan Noble, and Ryan Ward were all honored pre-game.
For the season’s final game, Islander Head Coach Morgan Cummins sent right hander Max Murray to the mound. Murray’s outing was relatively short but effective as he yielded one run on one hit while striking out three in two innings of work.
The Islander offense quickly took care of the 1-0 deficit. In the bottom of the 2nd, Rinko would reach on an error, and Dull sent a double into the left-center gap to give the Islanders runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.
Tommy Rak then stepped up to the plate and produced an RBI groundout to tie the game at 1-1. The Islanders then quickly added another run thanks to a two-out RBI single from Colton Miller to make it a 2-1 Islander lead.
With the lead now in hand, the Islanders turned to Liam Conlon. The senior submarine pitcher would work four flawless innings allowing just two hits while only needing 40 pitches to get through four full innings. As a result, the Islanders held a 2-1 lead heading into the 7th.
Right hander Dylan Noble then took the ball and looked for the save in the top of the 7th and quickly got two outs. However, Scripps Ranch then strung together a pair of hits and tied things at 2-2 to send the game to extras.
In extras, the Islanders’ bats would struggle to get going again and failed to score in both the 8th and 9th. Meanwhile, in the top of the 9th, Scripps Ranch would scrape across two runs and take the 4-2 lead.
The Islanders loaded the bases in the 9th with two outs after a single from Chance Pettit and back-to-back hits that allowed Noble and Ward to reach. But even with the bags full, the Islanders were unable to capitalize and thus fell 4-2.
While the loss was tough, the Islanders’ season is not done.
On Saturday afternoon, it was announced that the Islanders earned the No. 12 seed in the CIF D2 playoffs. Despite the low seed, everyone knows that come playoff time anything can happen, or as Coach Cummins put it, “We have an opportunity to play playoff baseball. What more could you ask for?”
For their play-in game, the Islanders will make the nearly two-hour drive east to El Centro to take on No. 5 seed Southwest High School today at 3:30. With a win, the Islanders would advance to the double-elimination stage of the playoffs.