Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Belmont baseball alumnus Matt Beaty is many things: a Bruin, a Tennessean — and now, a World Series champion.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game six of the Fall Classic to win their first championship since 1988.
“LA has been waiting for this for 32 years,” Beaty said in a press conference Thursday.
Beaty played for the Bruins for three seasons between 2013 and 2015 before being selected by the Dodgers in round 12 of the 2015 draft. He spent four seasons in the minors before getting called up on April 30, 2019. In his young career, he has hit .258 with 11 home runs and 51 runs batted in.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced MLB to shorten the season to 60 games, but Beaty played well enough for the team to give him a spot on all four postseason rosters.
The Dodgers eliminated the Milwaukee Brewers in a best-of-three wild card round, took down rival San Diego in the division series, and battled back against the Atlanta Braves to win three consecutive elimination games and punch their ticket to the World Series.
The Rays proved a worthy foe for the Dodgers, getting hits in key spots.
Going into game four of the series, the Dodgers led two games to one. A win would all but obliterate the Rays’ chances of getting back into the series. LA took a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, when Brett Phillips singled off Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen, driving in two runs and winning the game.
Beaty called the loss a “kick to the chest” but said the team rebounded quickly. The next day, Clayton Kershaw put the Dodgers back on top with a win in game five.
“Playoff baseball is just a completely different animal,” Beaty said.
Arozarena hit another home run in the first inning of game six, but Dodger pitching silenced the Rays’ offense in the following innings.
At 10:36 p.m., Beaty ran from the dugout to celebrate with his teammates.
Beaty represented Nashville in the World Series, but he wasn’t the only one. Nashville native Mookie Betts, Vanderbilt University alum Walker Buehler, and former Nashville Sounds infielder Max Muncy all donned Dodger uniforms in the series.
“It’s really cool to have all those Nashville ties,” Beaty said, adding that the Dodgers’ victory “is a win for the Nashville people.”
Beaty, now a champion, carries Belmont with him. Coach Dave Jarvis did everything he could to “develop us as men and try to be the best people we could be,” Beaty said. “That’s what’s most important.”
He played baseball with Judah Akers, the lead singer of the band Judah and the Lion, in 2013. Their 2019 hit “7000x” blasts from the stadium speakers as Beaty’s walk-up song. Whether it be baseball or music, Beaty knows how much starpower there is at his alma mater.
“At Belmont, there’s just so many talented people,” Beaty said.
Beaty is the first Belmont alumnus to win a title in the big leagues.
“The championship means everything,” he said.
This article written by Sarah Maninger.