The Coast Intermediate All-Star Little League team, vitalized by three talented members of the Cambria Reds, won a state tournament thriller 12-11 on Saturday, July 8, then lost a heartbreaker 7-6 on Sunday July 9 — and Monday, coming through the loser’s bracket, “their great run came to an end in a 13-2 loss,” said Cambria Reds coach Matt Saunders.
In order to get to the third round of the State Baseball Intermediate Little League playoffs, the Coast Intermediate All-Star team first defeated Atascadero All-Stars in June, and next they beat the Foothill All-Stars (from Ventura). Their success was driven in part by the efforts of Cambria Reds’ standouts Emi Pena, Michael Sison and Anhase Martin.
On Saturday, the Coast team had its back to the wall (in the third round) as it was trailing the Ladera Ranch All Stars 11-10 in the bottom of the seventh inning on the Chapparosa Park Little League field at Laguna Niguel in Orange County.
There were two outs. The Reds’ Michael Sison was at the plate for Coast with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count. It was an ending “straight out of Hollywood,” Michael’s father Jonathan Sison wrote in a text.
Michael proceeded to rip a ground ball single into right field, which scored the tying and winning runs for Coast. That walk-off base hit gave Coast an exhilarating 12-11 victory in this state tournament for Little Leaguers.
In that game, Michael went 2-for-3 at the plate. Pena had two hits, and Martin had a hit, walked once and scored a pair of runs for Coast.
Meanwhile, on Sunday (July 9), Coast fell behind by five runs early against a team called Luckie Waller All-Stars from Orange County. Notwithstanding that he had injured his left hand Saturday, Martin, who throws right and bats right, pitched four quality innings for Coast. He gave up two hits, a walk and one unearned run through four innings.
Coast battled back but couldn’t deliver the key hit with men in scoring position. They ended up on the short end of a 7-6 score.