Ralph Suarez, Chris Cuadra: Dade Baseball Coaches of the Year
Ralph Suarez was finally able to get Doral Academy baseball over the hump, with the Firebirds winning the Class 6A state title this season – their first in school history.
Chris Cuadra brought Miami Christian back to where it was just three years ago – hoisting the Class 2A title.
The state championship-winning coaches are also the Miami Herald’s Dade Baseball Coach of the Year.
Suarez became the first baseball coach to lead two different Miami-Dade County schools to state championships. Suarez won four state titles at Brito Miami Private School and was also part of a state championship team as an assistant coach at Gulliver in 2004, as well as four state softball championships as a as assistant coach of the Gulliver softball team.
Suarez’s Doral side this season have gone 25-4-1 while playing a busy schedule. After an 11-1 loss to Plantation American Heritage on March 31, the Firebirds closed the season with 15 straight wins, beating their opponents 118-24. They cruised through the regional round of the state series, advancing from the regional quarter-finals by forfeit, beating Mater Academy 7-3 in the regional semi-finals and shutting out Dwyer 10-0 to advance to the final four of the State.
From there, it took some late-inning heroics to earn the final two wins over Tampa Sickles and Pace, both by final scores of 5-4, to win the state title.
As for Cuadra, his Miami Christian Victors went 29-3 en route to their fourth overall state title and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019, both also under Cuadra’s management. .
Miami Christian’s four state titles are tied with Hialeah-Miami Lakes for sixth all-time between Dade and Broward. The Victors trail only Westminster Christian (11), Brito (7), Monsignor Pace (7), Archbishop McCarthy (7) and now-defunct Loyola (5) on that list.