Published July 2, 2021


MELROSE—The Melrose Little League Orioles took the minor league crown on a sun-swept night at Lewis Monk field on Wednesday, June 23. The Orioles prevailed 10-1 over a tough Dodgers team, who had previously beaten the Orioles earlier in the season.

Prior to the game, players lined up on first and third base for the national anthem. Representing the Dodgers were Parker Brown, Grayson Carroll, Alexander Delahaij, Ryan DeNutte, Aiden Herron, Olivia Kotowicz, Mason McLean, Luca Sarno, Damon Stevens, Oliver Swanson and Theodore Wells. Lined up for the Orioles were Conor Barrington, Nathan Beintum, Sawyer Calef, Sam Carroll, Victor Dale, Declan Flaherty, Louie Gentile, Charles Lowe, Ben O’Donoghue, Adam Rasner and Henry Solano.

HATS OFF to the Dodgers, who battled hard in the Minor League finals. (Jennifer Gentile photo) 

It started out as a pitching showcase between the Orioles’ Declan Flaherty and the Dodgers’ Parker Brown, who both struck out two in the first inning. Flaherty would fan a total of 8 in his four innings of work, shutting out the Dodgers in his time on the mound to eventually earn the win, while the Dodgers’ Brown had a sharp 5 strikeouts. Oriole reliever Adam Rasner delivered the goods striking out in the side in the fifth, while Dodger reliever Alex Delahaij enjoyed three K’s in his relief duty. 

Kicking things off at start of the game, the Oriole’s Adam Rasner reached first on a single and advanced on steals before getting knocked in by Conor Barrington with a giant double. Henry Solano and Ben O’Donoghue advanced on walks, but Parker Brown got out of the inning with a forced ground out. In the second, Oriole’s Nathan Beintum was awarded first base on a walk and was knocked in with a giant hit by Charlie Lowe. Louie Gentile took a walk to which gave the Orioles the corners, but sharp Dodger defense forced outs in the infield to end the inning.

In the third, the Dodgers’ bats came around as Grayson Carroll hit a single to right and advanced runner Aiden Herron. But two strikeouts by Flaherty on the mound would end the inning. The Orioles pulled away in the third behind hits from Conor Barrington, Ben O’Donoghue, Sawyer Calef, Nathan Beintum and a two run RBI by Charlie Lowe.

In the fourth inning, the Dodger’s Parker Brown had a monster double and then advanced to third on a steal. An infield hit by Theo Wells would put runners on the corners, but Flaherty continued to throw heat and struck out two to end the inning. The Orioles added one in the fourth and when Sam Carroll doubled and scored on a bases loaded walk earned by Henry Solano. In the fifth, the Orioles tacked two more on when Victor Dale and Nathan Beintum scored thanks to the hot bat of Charlie Lowe, who finished with three doubles and four RBIs on the day. 

The Dodgers would spoil the shutout in the sixth thanks to hits from Luca Sarno and Mason McLean. Delahaij, who reached on a fielder’s choice, would use his speed on the base path, stealing second and third, before crossing the plate on an RBI single by Parker Brown. The last play of the game, a ground ball to shortstop, was aptly handled by Declan Flaherty and the Orioles erupted in celebration on the field. 

Both teams enjoyed music, frozen treats, birthday cake and pizza at the conclusion of the game.