Islander Baseball Goes 1-2 Last Week - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Islander Baseball Goes 1-2 Last Week

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2019 3:03 pm

A couple of well-placed hits here or there and last week’s results for the Islander Baseball Team (11-7-1 overall record) might have been quite different. In their three games played, Coronado defeated Clairemont 5-1, lost to Point Loma 4-3 and then lost to Clairemont in the second game of their Eastern League series 3-2.

Starting with the first game against Clairemont, Islander Head Coach Morgan Cummins said, “We got an early lead in the second and when we get up three or four runs with our pitching, that is a good formula for us. In the second, Kyle Phin hit a single, then Ryan Ward doubled off the wall to score our first run. We had a three-run top of the third inning. Jared Pratt walked, and it was a well-deserved walk as he laid off some tough pitches. Then Heath Miller had a line drive single and Tobey Brown had a nice opposite field single for an RBI, that scored Pratt. Dylan Miller had a big at-bat with two outs and a man on third. He hit a hard grounder for an RBI. We scored our fifth run in the sixth inning, which sealed the game. Bobby Zajonc had a double, and with two outs, Pratt hit a line drive to left center field. He got the hit on an 0-2 count for the RBI. On the game, Phin was 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI; Ward was 2-4 with an RBI; and Pratt was 1-2 with an RBI, a run scored and two walks.”

On the mound, Luke McCollough pitched 5.2 innings, giving up five hits, and one run while striking out six Chieftain hitters. Cummins said, “Luke did a really good job pitching ahead in the count. In the sixth, Adam Sheehan came in to pitch with men on first and third with two outs and got a fly ball to right to get us out of the inning. Luke Meloche came in for the last out to get their No. 9 hitter out. Their best player was on deck and the bases would have been loaded. The game was a lot closer than the score indicated.”

The Point Loma game was a continuation of the game where a Pointer player sustained a significant injury in the third inning. The game re-started with Point Loma having runners on first and second with none out. Cummins said, “Zajonc charged a bunt and threw their guy out at third. We struck the next guy out and they had two on with two out. Their cleanup hitter got a two-run single, which probably cost us the game. We also gave up two runs the next inning.”

The Islanders rallied in the fifth inning, starting with a double from Jon Tessier, and Heath Miller got a base hit to score him. “In the sixth Phin had a double to center, and Zajonc singled to score Phin,” Cummins said. “In the seventh we had two out with nobody on. Ward tripled down the right field line, Brown reached on an error to make the score 4-3 and they threw a pickoff attempt away and Brown got to second base. Phin was retired on a hard grounder to second. We were right there, and we need to take the next step and get the big hit. I’m confident we can create scoring opportunities. Tessier pitched the sixth inning and did a really good job throwing strikes to keep us in it.”

The third game was a nip and tuck affair with Clairemont taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning. Coronado rallied in the bottom of the inning, as Heath Miller singled, Ward doubled, sending Miller to third, and Dylan Miller had a two-RBI double, plating Coronado’s only two runs. In the seventh, Caden Sutherland lead off with a pinch hit walk, Evan Schnell sacrificed Sutherland to second, then Heath Miller singled to make the situation men on second and third with two outs and Brown at the plate. A couple of questionable ball-strike calls from the home plate umpire put Brown into a defensive posture during the at-bat and he grounded out to end the game. One additional hit in the seventh could have won the game for the Islanders.

The defensive highlight of the game came in the fourth inning, when Point Loma took the lead. With nobody out, a Point Loma hitter grounded a ball to Ward at second, who flipped the ball to Heath Miller at second for the force out. Continuing the play, Miller whirled and threw a strike to Brown at third base, who tagged a Chieftain runner out, who had strayed too far from the bag. It was a beautiful heads-up play by Miller. Cummins said, “That really was in instinctual play and it sums up the type of player Heath Miller is. He has a high baseball IQ, great composure and a great understanding beyond the basics of the game. He is one of the steadiest players we have on the field and at the plate.”

Sean Miley pitched three innings and was relieved by Meloche in the fourth inning. Meloche gave up three hits in the four innings he pitched, allowing no runs and striking out three.

This week the Islanders charge into battle, playing in the Classic Division of the Lions Club Tournament, the second highest level of competition in the 100-team tourney. Cummins said, “It’s a level up from where we were last year, and we requested to be there. Monday, we host La Jolla Country Day (Coronado won 7-1 to run their record to 12-7-1); Tuesday we play Rockland, a Division I team from the Bay Area; and Wednesday we play Cleveland High School from the Reseda area. They are an Open Division team in their region. All of the games are at home and start at 3:30 p.m. The bare minimum is we would play a consolation game Thursday and if we win through, we’ll play at some point Thursday against another Classic Division team. We have had success in the tournament before with our pitching depth. We are in as good or better shape than anybody who has to play this many games. We’ll use that to our advantage.”

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