Baseball to Face North Attleborough

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A senior pitcher throws the first pitch in the game against North.

Bobby Rabaioli

The Rebels face off against North Attleborough this Friday.
The Rebels face off against North Attleborough this Friday.

In the playoffs, things change.  Every play, every at-bat, every pitch mean more than ever.  No one knows this more than the Walpole Rebels Boys Baseball team, which, on Friday June 1, plays North Attleboro, the first time playoff game since last year’s loss to Xaverian.

The overall seeding saw Walpole gain the one seed, with rival Norwood right behind them with the short straw this year, playing Xaverian in the first round.  “We got a little lucky with our draw” said Senior Matt Bender.  Lucky indeed, because if Norwood had not won a coin flip for the second seed, Walpole would have had the ‘luxury’ of playing Xaverian, a team that is perennially seeded lower based on a tough schedule, but plays like a top seed. This was never as evident as last year, when Xaverian beat Walpole in its first round matchup en route to a state championship. This year, Norwood has to play Xaverian, a team that they just beat in a hotly contested, one run affair

North Attleborough, Walpole’s opponent, has had a very up an down season this year.  They have had some key wins, most notably against Hockomock powerhouse Franklin, while also going on a seven game losing streak.  “It doesn’t matter to us.  We have to play as if they are the best team in the state” said Senior Captain Johnny Adams.  “If we don’t play to our capabilities, then we could go home early again this year.”

The two teams should face off with Michael Gaughan on the mound for Walpole against North Attleborough’s second pitcher, due to the fact they had to play a preliminary game against Brookline.  “They have gotten their playoff jitters out of them, and now it’s our turn to show that last year was a fluke”  said senior Tom Farrow. After North Attleborough’s first round win, they should have some momentum; however, the Rebels are looking for vengeance after last year’s quick exit from the tournament, resulting in a close game.