The Madison High School varsity baseball team extended its winning streak to five games this past week with wins over Verona and a second-round win over Chatham in the Morris County Tournament.
Against Verona, Dodger sophomore Gavin Wallace took to the hill for the first varsity start of his career. The studious looking Wallace, looked more like a tenured professor as he “schooled” Verona with a 3-hit, 7–1 complete-game victory. The Dodger offense supported Wallace with all the runs he needed in the second inning. Leadoff batter Dilan Kluge started the inning by drilling a single to left and two batters later Luke Peglau plated him with an RBI single. Peglau finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Kluge also added an RBI and another hit in the sixth inning. Cameron Dias had a hit and RBI in three trips to the plate and Joe Grato continued his hot hitting going 2-for-4. Nick Lucas rounded out the scoring by adding two RBIs with a bases loaded single.
After the game, the excitement of Wallace’s first varsity win spilled over into the
stands. Maggie Wallace, an impressive looking eighth-grade softball and soccer player and younger sister of Gavin, could not contain her emotion when asked about her brother’s performance. She said, “I knew Gavin could pitch at this level–he always takes it up a notch in the big games and today was no exception, this is what I’ve come to expect from him–I’m going to give him a big hug when he gets home.”
Back in the day, competition between Madison and Chatham was rare but, over the last few years the rivalry has intensified between the two neighboring towns on almost every field of play, including: the gridiron, soccer field, diamond, basketball court and even in the court house. Every competition is more than just hits, runs and goals. It is about local bragging rights and, when the competition occurs in the county or state tournaments, the fist pumping and chest bumping is even more intense.
Such was the case this past Saturday when Chatham visited Madison in the second round of the Morris County Tournament. Just a week earlier, Madison had edged Chatham in a 14-7 slug-fest so the expectations were set for another high-octane competition. It was not to be. Dodger pitcher, Connor Higgins struck out seven and gave up only five hits to earn a 6-0 shutout. Higgins was not only in complete command on the mound; he also took control at the plate and helped himself by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. John Costa, Cameron Dias and Luke Peglau each added RBIs and Michael Wallace had two hits in three trips to the plate.
Madison now boasts a record of 12-4 and will face off against Delbarton in the next round of the county tournament.
Madison will put its 12-4 record on the line against Delbarton in the next round of the Morris County Tournament.