Thursday, May 23, 2024

Coronado Islanders JV Baseball Team Finishes 2024 Season as Division II Eastern League Champions

Eastern League Champions. L-R Coach Gregg Gonzalez, Stanley Guymon, Aiden Arendt, Spencer Reidarson, Wyatt Parra, Will Foster, Logan Craig, Ian Zamora, Gehrig Evans, Julian Trieschman, Chase Jenkins, Ryan Douglas, Andrew Hammond, Trey Arnold, Jake Nelson, Colin Schrum. Photo by Nancy Schrum

Usually, scholastic sports writers focus on the varsity team. But in line with the theme from last year’s box office hit “The Boys in the Boat,” sometimes you have to give credit to junior varsity. The Coronado Islanders JV baseball team tore up the CIF San Diego Section with an overall record of 14-8, and 8 wins out of 10 games against the Division II opponents in the Eastern League. JV Coach Gregg Gonzalez exclaimed, “I have been the coach of this team for five years now. I don’t know if we ever finished as league champions before, even back to when I was a student.” A huge accomplishment for sure given stiff competition from Mission Bay, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, La Jolla, and Clairemont.

Stanley “Mr. Sizzle” on the mound.

The boys were determined to finish out strong, especially when they realized they could end the season first in the league. Logan “Mr. Squeeze” Craig and Ryan “Dougie Fresh” Douglas alternated as starting catcher, and both showed great leadership all year. The team won their last five games thanks to heroic outings from pitchers like Stanley “Mr. Sizzle” Guymon, who found his rhythm when it mattered most in the last four games he pitched.

Against Mission Bay on May 8, Stanley was locked into the zone the minute he stood on the mound and had a near perfect game, allowing only one hit and striking out three Buccaneers in a row on just 10 pitches. Nice when a grandparent from other side comes over to applaud your mom after the game.

The boys’ last game, also against Mission Bay, clinched the title with Trey Arnold coming back from an injury to mow down the opposing lineup and then Chase Jenkins closed the door on any hopes of a comeback in the last innings with a 6-3 win. The energy was high all season long and Andrew Hammond or “Unc” described the chemistry on the team by saying, “I knew all I had to do was get on base and Jake Nelson, our shortstop, would make something good happen.”

Double play by Andrew, Jake, and Stanley

A great journeyman player, Aiden “Ernie” Arendt played right field and would also take the mound to provide shutdown pitching in late innings all season. Chase Jenkins was so fast on the base path, the track team coach’s ears were probably burning. Colin Schrum fought through a shoulder injury and provided clutch pitching and hitting, stopping only when he fractured his collarbone near the end of the season. Ian Zamora, a freshman prodigy, played up to provide steady pitching in several outings. Breakout games in left field and centerfield by Gehrig “G” Evans and Will “The Thrill” Foster shored up the outfield and reminded us of Neon Deion with their flashes of speed and spectacular catches.

The Islanders have worked hard the entire season supporting and encouraging each other. Even star players who were injured, like Spencer Reidarson, showed up at practices and all the games to cheer on their teammates. They played their hearts out. The future looks good for the Coronado Islanders baseball program with young guns like Julian “JT” Trieschman on the “hot corner” and Wyatt “The Microwave” Parra, ready to jump in and spark the team to victory.

As the JV team pack up their gear for the season, it’s the Varsity boys’ turn to shine. The CIF playoffs start this week, and they are ranked #8 in the league, and will travel to Escondido on Tuesday, May 14 to play against #5 San Pasqual. Good luck Islanders and play ball!

And that’s a wrap! Photo by Brandon Hammond (who also helped the writer with this article).

Elsie Hammond
Elsie Hammond
Elsie is a stay-at-home mom with an MBA, managing two kids, a husband, and a mini-Aussie. She moved to Coronado Cays in 2012 with her family by way of US Navy. She has lived in the Philippines, Japan, and Hong Kong and several states in the good old USA. Elsie enjoys traveling, hiking, golfing, skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), and playing tennis. She also likes taking pictures with her iPhone and posting about them on her personal social media pages. She was a monthly contributor to Cays Living Magazine and has had several of her photos and stories published in various magazines and newspapers. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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