Suncoast Historical Season Continues With Regional Win
Suncoast has been searching all season for a signature win. The Chargers have been ranked in the Top-Ten in Palm Beach all year, but has lacked that big win over a top program. That was until Tuesday night, when they they continued their historic run, with a 9-3 road regional quarterfinal win over Belen Jesuit in Miami.
“Great game,” said Beno. “The boys came out swinging. We had a gameplan, and really stuck to it. We have hit the ball well all year, and tonight we did again.”
When Suncoast Manager Jimmy Beno took over for the Chargers in the 2020 season, they were coming off a .500 season. In his first full season in 2021, the Chargers were 9-12.
But over the past two seasons, Beno has rebuilt pride in the program.
The atmosphere at Belen is always electric, and Tuesday night was no different, with the home crowd amped up and ready for a win behind their first-year manager Jesse Fernandez.
The Chargers, however, had other plans, as they immediately jumped out in front 2-0 in the top of the first. Aidan Arjune led off the game with a single, and after a line out, Brady King blasted a two-run homer to center.
The pace offensively slowed after that, with Suncoast starter Brady Benevides and Wolverines starter Andres Salvade trading zeroes through the third.
In the top of the fourth, the Chargers would sent 11 batters to the plate en route to scoring six runs, and building a commanding 8-0 lead. Benevides, Hayden Neihoff, Hanley Case, Arjune, and Nate Stafford would all have singles in the inning.
Arjune ended the day 3-for-4, with two runs and two RBIs. Stafford and Benevides had two hits each, as the Chargers rolled up 12 hits on the night.
With an 8-0 lead, Benevides ran into a little trouble in the sixth as the Wolverines tried to make it a game. Manny Ones was able to come in and end the threat with the Chargers still holding an 8-3 lead. Ones would then close the door in the seventh, giving Suncoast their first regional win in school history.
“Brady (Benevides) pitched great like he has all year for us,” said Beno. “And any time we can turn the ball over to Manny (Ones) at the end of the game, it is usually a great sign for us. Just throw strikes and let the defense work has been the motto all year.”
Belen closes their season at 16-9, and Beno was complimentary of the Wolverines after the game.
“Belen is a great team, and they are well coached. It was a hard fought win that the boys really deserved tonight in an unbelievable atmosphere.”
It has been a magical season of firsts for the Chargers. In addition to their first regional win, 2023 is also the first year the school has won 20 games.
Even with the success, Suncoast has their sights set on a bigger prize, a trip to Fort Myers for states. In their way will be one what has been one of the top teams in the state this season, Archbishop McCarthy. The Mavericks were 1-0 winners over the team that won Suncoast’s district title last week, Mater Academy.
“We know we have a tough one Friday,” said Beno. “So we are going to enjoy this tonight and get right back at it tomorrow.”