Rebels Fall to Raiders in Spring Opener

Jeff Meaney



Senior Tim Connors delivers a pitch
Senior Tim Connors delivers a pitch

The Walpole High Baseball team opened up the season on Thursday April 8 at Eldracher field against the defending Baystate Conference Champion Wellesly Raiders.  The Young Rebel team played well but was unable to get the run support they needed and fell to the Raiders 3-1. The Rebel Baseball team is one of the youngest teams in recent history. Led by only five seniors, the Rebels may not have a lot of players with varsity experience but even the younger players have played enough baseball to play like seasoned veterans.

        Senior Tim Connors of Walpole and Junior Dan Dymecki of Wellesely, took control of the game by hitting corners and inducing ground balls.  Sophomore Craig Hanley led off the bottom of the second with a single to right. Hanley moved to second with two outs and fellow classmate Matt Lavanchey hit a RBI single to center scoring Hanley to put the Rebels up 1-0.  The Raiders ace, Dymecki pitched in his first varsity game since he had a 6-0 record as a freshman. During his sophomore year Dymecki was unable to pitch because of Tommy John surgery. Dymecki pitched seven innings and only surrendered one run.

     The Raiders were able to get a run across in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field tying the game 1-1.  Tim Connors left the game on top striking out his last batter with two outs in the fifth inning in his first career start for the Rebels.  Junior Kyle Musc0 came in relief.  The Raiders were able to capitalize on an infield error by scoring their second run of the game putting the Raiders on top 2-1.  The Raiders scored another run on a hard hit ball down the third baseline that hit the bag and stopped before third baseman, junior Steve King, could field the ball.

     The Rebels had an opportunity to score in the late innings with a runner on second base with only one out.  Senior Captain Ryan O’Coin hit a rocket line drive to shortstop, unfortunately right at the Wellesely shortstop, who was able to turn a double play to end the inning.

     Junior Captain Tom Ryan, who experienced some shoulder problems of his own in the offseason, came in with two outs in the eight inning. Ryan struck out the only batter he faced ending the eighth inning to hold the Raiders to a two run lead. The Rebels were unable to score in the bottom of the eight inning.  The Rebels relied on Ryan to shut the Rebels down in the top of the ninth giving the Rebels an opportunity to rally in the bottom of the ninth.  

     The Rebels did not get the offensive support they needed to match their solid pitching.  The defense played well and some of the Rebels hard hit balls were unable to find holes in the Wellesley defense.  Matt Lavanchey had a productive game with two hits and an RBI proving that the young players can help the program.