Westminster Academy Heading To States In 2A
Played over the span of two days, the Westminster Academy Lions were visiting the reigning state champion Miami Christian Victors in the regional final game, as Westminster Academy wins 9-4 to advance to states.
In a match-up that pitted Miami-Dade against Broward, the game began Monday, May 15th, however it was stopped due to rain in the bottom of the fourth, as the umpires deemed the field unable to play on. The game was continued the following day on the 16th.
On the mound for the Lions was junior right-handed pitcher Colin Cartagena. His start was cut short to three innings, where he had stuck out three and only given up two hits, while not allowing any runners to score. He started the game without a hitch as he began with a 1-2-3 inning. In the second inning, he was just as effective, as he only gave up on hit, allowing the runner to only get as far as second base safely. It was more of the same in the third as he was able to strike out the side.
“I was locked in. I was reminiscent of last year, so I was itching to get the start against them,” said Cartagena.
The Lions used the momentum and energy provide to them from Cartagenas performance, as offensively they had the edge. They put up one run in the top of first inning, as sophomore Jesus Garcia hit a hard ground ball to score a runner that was on third. Later, in the third inning, the Lion began to play a bit of small ball. Taking pitches and putting the ball in play seemed to work for the Lions as a series of walks, well timed hits, and a string of errors on behalf of the Victors defense led to the Lions scoring five runs, to bring the game to 6-0 heading into the fourth. Jesus Garcia, J.C Hernandez, Landon Patrisko and Luke Dennstedt all earned RBIs in the inning.
As the game had to be stopped and resumed due to rain, the Victors decided to take complete advantage of the potential of a momentum shift. As they resumed play, the energy from the Victors bench was explosive, as they went into the game cheering and yelling almost pitch one of they’re hitters saw, and it seemed to work, as they started to put up some runs of their own.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Victors scored one run off of Christopher Diaz’ RBI single to break the ice for the Victors. The final set of runs put up by the victors came in the bottom of the fifth. Two back-to-back lead off singles from the bats of Jendy Gonzalez and Alejandro Abreut, and a walk by Ray Yero, lead to bases loaded with no outs. Next up to bat was Ronny Cruz, who hit a fielders choice groundball back to the pitcher, which scored bringing the game to a score fo 6-2. The following batter Jose Alfonso singled to left field to plate two more runs and make it a 6-4 ball game.
Westminster, however still had some fight left in them, because in the top of the sixth inning, the Lions managed to score five more insurance runs to bring the game to its final score of 9-4.
“They were locked in today. For the last couple year, Miami Christian has eliminated us, and so we wanted to face them in the regular season, but scheduling is tough, so I’m glad we got to get them when it mattered,” said Lions manager Ernie Gonzalez.
With the win, Westminster Academy punches their ticket to states.