Walpole Baseball Defeats North Attleborough, Set to Face Barnstable


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

Michael Fortin

A senior pitcher throws the pitch.
A senior pitcher throws the pitch.

When the top seeded Rebels walked into Friday afternoon’s opening round game against the No. 17  North Attleborough, every player could only think one thing:  just get past the first round of the State Tournament.  Just a year ago in the opening round, No. 2 Walpole entered the tournament with high hopes and a state championship in mind.  However, these dreams were quickly shattered as they got upset by Xaverian 9-3 to once again make an early exit after dominating the regular season.  With this in mind, the Rebels refused to go out quickly as they came from behind to win 7-4 behind the dominating performance by senior ace Mike Gaughan , who went the distance throwing an astounding 147 pitching while recording 13 strikeouts.

In this first two innings, everybody at the game felt as if Walpole was going to have the same predicament as last year: fall behind to a much weaker team early in the game. And it happened, North Attleborough managed to get two runs in the first two innings off Gaughan.  However, in the fourth inning,  senior Captain John Adams stepped up big time—roping a 2-1 pitch far over the centerfielders head to get a triple and more importantly get the Rebels jumpstarted.

After a balk by North Attleborough to make the score 4-1, senior Captain Cam Hanley followed up by crushing another triple to the same exact spot.  Senior Matt Bender then yet again killed another pitch to get yet another triple to make the score 4-2.  Walpole continued this slugfest for the rest of the inning and tied the score at four a piece.

“That inning was huge for us.  As soon as Adams got that triple I knew it was a game changer as it got us pumped up after a slow start and we never looked back after that,” said junior Nick Cordopatri.

As soon as Gaughan settled down on the mound, he was nearly unhittable as North Attleborough hitters struggled to even make contact from the third inning on.  On the other hand, Walpole hitters were just getting started as they took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth when senior Tom Farrow singled up the middle to plate Bender; the Rebels never looked back after that.

After Gaughan silenced North Attleborough in the 7th inning, Adams once again crushed the ball to get his second triple of the game only to score on the next play as Hanley batted a single.  The Rebels, then, added an insurance run in the eighth inning to make the score 7-4. Fittingly, Gaughan once again silenced the North Attleborough hitters to close out the game and secure the Rebels first playoff win.

As Cordopatri stated, “This game was huge.  We knew we needed to get over the hump of winning a playoff game and now were just looking to catch fire and roll through the playoffs.”

No.1 Walpole takes on No.8 Barnstable—who defeated No.9 Franklin 10-1 in the first round—Tuesday June 4 at 4:00 at Eldracher Field in the Second Round of the MIAA Division 1 State Tournament.