Baseball Gains Momentum in Midseason Stretch


Photo/ Max Simons

Ben Brownsword

Photo/ Max Simons
Junior Joe Smith throws a pitch in Walpole’s May 4 loss to Framingham. Photo/ Max Simons


With an impressive pitching stable including the undefeated senior captain James Newman, fellow senior captain Jack Donnelly and senior Kevin Mansen, the Rebels were not expected to be at .500 this far into the season. On May 4 though, the Rebels suffered a 5-2 loss against Framingham and on May 6 a loss to Braintree on May 6 to make them 4-6 on the season. However, with two wins against Natick on May 9 and 10, the Rebels returned to .500.

“I think we will play better” said Fair, “we have some tough games coming up but we can definitely get some wins and clinch a tournament spot.”

Although pitching is an important piece of building a baseball team, pitchers cannot deliver wins on their own without hitters driving in runs to support them. Walpole will hope to improve on their hitting, and if they do, they will have all the tools to make a deep playoff run.

On May 9 and 10, Walpole played back-to-back games against Natick. After a 3-2 win in the away fixture on Friday, Walpole returned to Eldracker Field on Saturday for the next game.

Walpole was shut out until the bottom of the 4th when junior Nate Porack hit a bomb down the right field line and circled the bases for a home run.

“Right off the bat I knew I made great contact,” said Porack. “I knew I could get at least a triple.”

Walpole was not done in the inning, when a sacrifice fly from senior Jack Lavanchy tied the score at two after four innings.

Pitcher Kevin Mansen shut down the Natick batters in the top of the 5th, and the Rebels returned to the plate.

Newman and Fair opened up the inning with hits and Walpole had hitters on 2nd and 3rd base with no outs. Porack knocked them both in with a single, and the Rebels had their first lead of the game.

After the bases clearing single by Porack, Walpole managed to load the bases again after the Natick pitcher hit senior Nick Shea, and senior Kevin Quinn got on base with a bunt single.

With the bases loaded and no outs, sophomore Charlie Auditore knocked in two more runs with a single to make the score 6-2 in favor of the Rebels. Sophomore Andrew Moore knocked in another run with a bloop single, and still the Rebels had no outs.

The inning finally ended with Walpole sending thirteen batters to the plate and scoring eight runs, with Natick forced to use four pitchers to close out the inning.

After the rout in the 5th, Walpole finished the game in the driver’s seat. They won comfortably by a score of 12-2.

The thrashing of Natick showed the potential of the Rebels if the bats are able to make plays. Barring the game on Saturday, Walpole has not scored more than five runs in a single game, making it difficult for them to support their pitching staff with runs. If the bats are able to continue the momentum gained on Saturday and find some consistency, Walpole will be a formidable opponent in the remaining games.

Photos/ Max Simons

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