Madison Dodgers open season with Spring Invitational sweep

By DN WRITING STAFF | March 17, 2024

Michael Beacom of the Madison Dodgers delivers the first pitch of the 2024 Diamond Nation season to Maddox LaPietra of the Brick Surge. 

By Sean Reilly

Michael Beacom waited too long to play baseball again for a rough opening inning to spoil any of the opening day fun.

Beacom was the starting pitcher and cleanup batter for the Madison Dodgers against the Brick Surge on Saturday morning at the 12U Diamond Nation Spring Invitational in Flemington. 

Beacom, in fact, had the honor of throwing the first pitch of the year at “The Nation,” since the contest on Field 6 was the first of the 8 a.m. games at the complex to get underway.

“I’ve been waiting all winter for the chance to play again,” he said. “It felt good. I like baseball.” 

The Surge scored four times in the top of the inning, but Beacom and his teammates weren’t too bothered. After all, it was early in every conceivable fashion, in terms of inning, time of day, and date on the calendar. 

“I was a little nervous at the beginning, but then our talking in the dugout got us motivated,” he said. 

Beacom had an RBI single in a five-run bottom of the first, and the Dodgers never trailed again in what became an 11-9 win. He ended 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk, and allowed one unearned run in his remaining two innings on the mound to gain the victory.

Anthony Fornaro scores a first-inning run for the Brick Surge. 

The morning got even better for the Dodgers, who followed with a 15-1 win over the Maine Guides to finish Saturday with a 2-0 record to sit atop first place in the four-team Pool A standings. The Dodgers can clinch first place by beating the Diamond Jacks 12U Gold (1-1) on Sunday morning. 

The Surge, who bounced back with a 7-6 victory over Diamond Jacks Gold, were fueled in that top of the first outburst by Anthony Fornoro, who singled in two runs and scored on an error for a 3-0 lead. Eli Hernandez accounted for the other run by stealing home on the front end of a first-and-third running play.

The first five batters for the Dodgers reached base and scored in the bottom of the first. Colin Waldron led off and reached on a three-base outfield error, and he scored on a wild pitch with Matthew Goldstein at the plate. Goldstein doubled to right field, and Luke Arndt walked. 

Beacom was up next, and he hit an RBI single to center field. Jake Myers walked to load the bases, and Patrick Lepore hit a single to shortstop that resulted in two runs scoring for a 4-4 tie. After the next two batters struck out, a wild pitch scored Myers with the fifth run. 

The Dodgers, wearing the maroon and gold colors of their hometown high school with the same nickname, extended their lead to 7-4 in the second inning, with Goldstein drawing a bases-loaded walk with two out and an error accounting for the other run.

After Brick scored on an error in the top of the third, the Dodgers added three more runs in the bottom of the inning for a 10-5 lead. Anthony Ardison supplied an RBI groundout, Mark Mejia sent an RBI single to center with two out and Trevor McLaughlin drove in Mejia with a double to right field.

Anthony Ardison of Madison Dodgers is retired on a productive grounder, scoring Michael Beacom.

Brick closed to 10-9 in the fourth inning, with Brendan Desmond hitting an RBI groundout and Maddox LaPietra adding a one-run single to highlight the four-run burst. 

Madison rebounded, however, with Ardison entering to pitch a 1-2-3 top of the fifth and Arndt hitting a triple and scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of that inning before the 1:50 play clock expired to end the game. 

All in all, it was a great day to be a Dodger. 

“It was fun to come back the way we did,” Beacom said. “I’m looking forward to playing more baseball. I want to keep getting better.”

Share With A Friend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *