Smell that in the air? Oh yeah, folks, it’s the sweet smell of baseball season rapidly approaching. And while everyone knows of the Padres preparation for their upcoming season, another team in town is set to start their 2023 season this week. The Coronado High School baseball team.
Led by eighth-year and two-time CIF Champion, Manager Morgan Cummins, the Islanders look to make waves again this season.
“I think we have a young athletic team,” said Cummins “We should play a ton of competitive and exciting games this season.”
Coming off a 2022 year where the Islanders yet again made CIF DII Playoffs, this Islanders team will be a little different with the departure of former stars such as current USD Torero Ryan Ward, Dylan Noble, and Tony Miley, just to name a few.
As well, the Islanders will be faced with another season in the stingy Eastern League, which, as Cummins noted, is again chalked with talent.
“Eastern League will be tough competition,” said Cummins. “Christian is returning almost everyone, and they swept us last year. Scripps Ranch is coming down from Division 1, and we played two competitive games with them last year. Clairemont always plays us tough, and La Jolla is always well coached.”
However, as noted, Cummins is confident in his young core. He knows there may be some growing pains at the dish but also knows he can lean on an undeniably talented pitching staff, telling me, “Our biggest strength is our pitching. This year’s staff might have the most pitching depth we have ever had during my time as head coach. They will have to carry us and be the backbone of this team.”
When reviewing the roster, I asked Cummins who he expected big things from this season — his workhorses, if you will.
He again quickly noted members of the pitching staff, such as Max Murray, a 2024 Cal commit who possesses high-end velocity and a wipe-away slider. And newcomer to the Islanders baseball program Sean Cannon. “Max Murray returns for his third season on Varsity. Newcomer Sean Cannon, a transfer from Mater Dei, has also impressed so far.” said Cummins.
“We also have returning JT Nelson, who gave us 20 innings from last year. Youngsters Taylor Werth and Mateo Villanueva can also give us a chance against any team in the county.”
Meanwhile, Cummins also cited several Islanders who will be pivotal to the team’s success this season, both at the plate and in the field.
Headlining that group would be third-year varsity member Chance Pettit. “Chance Pettit is the anchor for the middle of our lineup,” said Cummins. “I’m also looking forward to watching the development of youngsters Patch Moore and Shane Cannon on the left side of the infield and at the top of the lineup. Seniors Colton Miller, Harley Harrington, and Jack Gould bring experience and toughness to lengthen our lineup.”
Overall, the young 2023 Islanders look to be CIF Playoff contenders again this season. Something that has always been true under the coaching of Cummins since his takeover of the job in 2016. Thanks to their combo of elite pitching that is, on paper, undoubtedly one of the best in San Diego County and a scrappy and situationally aware offense, the Islanders will be in every game this season.
“We are going to be a team that is going to depend on the entirety of the group to play together to be successful,” said Cummins. “It takes everyone on this roster to win a championship.”
VOL. 113, NO. 9 - Mar. 2, 2023
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