Coronado’s Demitri Irigoyen (20) cheers with teammates after the Islanders captured the San Diego Section Division III title.
For the second year in a row, Del Norte had its heart ripped out in the championship game.
Last year, Christian scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat the Nighthawks.
Friday afternoon, after Del Norte had tied the game in the top of the sixth, Coronado rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning to pull out a 5-2 win in the San Diego Section Division III title game at USD.
“We knocked Coronado out in the semis last year, but after looking at their roster, I figured if we got back to the title game it would probably be against them,” said Del Norte coach Rielly Embrey. “They were that good.”
The Islanders won their 30th game of the season against six losses.
Catcher Briley Knight, who tripled home a run in the second inning, singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth. Josh Leaser followed with an RBI single. Chris Cummins’ suicide squeeze pushed home the third run.
“Del Norte knocked us out last year, so we knew they were a good club,” Knight said. “When the brackets came out, we knew we’d be playing them.
“I’m loving this. I’m glad I was able to come through late in the game. I was in an RBI situation, so I tried to take my time, focus and stay under control.”
The top-seeded Islanders got big plays from right fielder Brandon Depperschmidt, who made a fine running catch to rob Scott Roberts of an extra-base hit with runners on the corners and two out in the fifth.
The next inning, left fielder Clark Fahrenthold made a great diving stop of Jayson Brower’s sinking liner with a runner on base.
The runner thought the ball had been caught, retreated to first and was caught in a rundown and tagged out.
The No. 7 Nighthawks (17-17) went on to score two runs in that inning.
“That play in left was crazy,” said Coronado coach Morgan Cummins. “Those kinds of things happen in championship games.
“Del Norte played hard, had opportunities (stranding six runners in scoring position). We never panicked, though.
“We beat Eastlake early in the season, won our league, and we’re CIF champions.
“I think we can play with anyone.”