Youth baseball league celebrates opening day, major donations

May 6, 2018

Spring means baseball, and on May 6, the Dartmouth Youth Activities Association kicked off Little League season with pomp and circumstance.

And there’s good reason to celebrate: the non-profit organization received a big boost from a local business just in time for the start of the season. Before the national anthem and first pitch, league officials joined Dan Good, general manager of Colonial South Chevrolet, as the car dealership made a $1,500 donation to the program.

“We wanted to be local and give back to the community,” Good said, adding that in the past the company has made donations to New Bedford sports programs. “All four of my kids went through Dartmouth sports programs.”

Good also donated equipment to the league, including pitching screens, first aid kits, and bat bags.

Association treasurer Christopher Garth said the donations will help fund improvements to the Slocum Road baseball fields. As the organization receives no funding from the town, Garth said this year the organization has upped its outreach to local businesses with incentives such as sponsorships and field ads.

And of course there was plenty of baseball action. After the national anthem, one of the first games of the year featured a matchup between the Blue Jays and Royals, the top two teams from last year. The Royals picked up a 6-0 win for its opening game.

“It’s a big boost of confidence to get that first win,” said Matthew Lariviere, 12, the Royals’ pitcher. “I’m looking forward to this good season.”

Last year, Royals’ coach Mark Joaquin was working with one of the youngest teams in the league. This season, many of his players are 12, the maximum age before transitioning to one of the DYAA’s other divisions.

“Now that we won the championship last year, I have to keep these kids focused and humble this year,” Joaquin said.

Blue Jays coach Aaron Sorelle was still proud of his team, and the excitement teammates generated for opening day.

“It’s been fun today, [opening day] is like our national holiday over here,” Sorelle said.