Madison Heights Madison’s Dylan Brown takes  a swing in a game earlier this season. The Eagles  returned a plethora of talent from last season’s team.

Madison Heights Madison’s Dylan Brown takes a swing in a game earlier this season. The Eagles returned a plethora of talent from last season’s team.

Photo by Sean Work


Madison baseball has a clear aspiration for the season

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published April 22, 2019

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Last season, Madison Heights Madison’s baseball team was three outs away from winning the program’s first division championship since 2010.

Going into the last game of the regular season, the Eagles and New Haven High were tied for the top spot in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division.

According to Madison coach Scott LaBrash, the Eagles had a 5-4 lead going into the last half of the seventh inning before New Haven scored two runs to win the game and the MAC Bronze title.

It was a loss that LaBrash referred to as “heartbreaking.”

But what hurt then can help serve as a major incentive for Madison’s 2019 squad.

LaBrash thinks that from the players’ perspective, this year it’s “league title or nothing: That’s what they want.”

“We were so close last year,” LaBrash said. “We weren’t really winning the last few years, and then we were right there to win a league championship. … To come up a game short, it was heartbreaking. It fueled a lot (of) my seniors for this year, and they’re ready to go.”

The Eagles have eight returners from last season, including five seniors, who can help try to secure a division title for the program.

Some of the players who are playing key roles for Madison are Austin Brown, who was the MAC Bronze MVP last season; Tanner Barndollar; Jordan Scott; and Dylan Brown.

Austin Brown, Barndollar and Scott are seniors, while Dylan Brown is in his sophomore season.

There are things for LaBrash to like about the team he has to work with this year.

“I have all my pitchers back,” he said. “I have senior leadership. … I had eight returners come back. Definitely a seasoned team.”

It isn’t just going after a division title this year that has been on LaBrash’s mind. After not having a JV team for three years, Madison has one this season, and it’s something that can be “huge” for the program.

“Some of the JV players now were on my bench last year,” LaBrash said. “Now they have a chance to play every day, get in the rhythm, get the fundamentals down. It’s something you need to develop (a) good program, is to have a filter system going up.”

LaBrash said the Eagles have a chance to do “something special this year.”

Up next, Madison plays at 4:30 p.m. April 25 at home against Warren Fitzgerald.

Call Sports Writer Mark Vest at (586) 279-1112. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.

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