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Chaminade Continues Hot Start With Win Over Westminster

Not much was known in the way of expectations for the 2024 Chaminade-Madonna Lions. The only thing that was certain was they were coming off an off-season where they made a manager change, and brought in former West Boca Manager Mark McCoy.

McCoy had done plenty of winning while at West Boca, building them into one of the top programs in Palm Beach.

If the early season returns are any indication, McCaoy is well on his way to doing the same for the Lions here in Broward.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Lions continued their hot start, defeating Westminster Academy, a team that went to the state Final Four last year in 2A, 8-5.

“This was a character win for us today against a very good Westminster team,” said McCoy. “Being able to face their ace and put up eight runs is not something that you expect, so when it happens, it is always a special day.”

The character side of it for Chaminade is they were coming off a 2-1 loss to another perennial power, and state 3A Final Four participant last year, North Broward Prep.

“Coming off last week when we lost a heartbreaking tight game on a bad hop, we spent the week re-focusing. We had four really hard practices, and the players responded today with a strong outing.”

it was Westminster that actually came out of the gate firing Tuesday, jumping to a 4-o lead in the third. Calvin Martin, Jesus Garcia, and Isaiah Fernandez all had RBI singles in the inning.

John Bishop cut the lead to 4-1 with a solo home run in their half of the third, and then AJ Vargas tied the game with a bases clearing double in the fourth.

“Absolutely huge at bat from AJ in that spot,” said McCoy. “He came up big, and that gave us the momentum we needed.”

The momentum was short-lived, as Westminster regained the lead 5-4 on a Luke Dennstedt RBI single.

The game swung back in the direction of Chaminade in the bottom of the sixth. An error allowed the tying run to score, and then Bishop delivered again, giving Chaminade the lead for good with a two-run single. They would tack on one more in the inning, and then held on to close out the 8-5 win.

“Joey Bishop had two really big at-bats in the game, first to get us going with the home run early, and then the single that gave us the lead,” said McCoy.”

The win moves the Lions to 5-2-1 on the season, with home games coming later this week against Everglades and Palm Beach #9 John Carroll.

After starting the season 4-2, Westminster has dropped their past two games. They will look to regroup when they travel to face Palm Beach #8 Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night.

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