Rebels Defeat Catholic Memorial 2-1 in Second Round of Playoffs


Walpole Rebels first baseman stands ready during Monday’s game.

David Moser

Walpole Rebels pitcher follows through on a pitch during Monday’s game.

Playoffs — the most exciting and anticipated part of every sports season. In both the fall postseason tournament and in the winter postseason tournament, Walpole sports teams did not fare as well as fans had hoped — almost every team had an early exit. However, Walpole’s spring sports teams have turned that pattern around.

As of Tuesday, June 7, four of Walpole’ s teams remain in the playoffs — both boys and girls lacrosse as well as baseball and softball — with two wins a piece. The most recent win belongs to the ten seeded Rebel Baseball team, who on Monday, June 6, defeated 15 seeded Catholic Memorial 2-1 in extra innings. The Rebel’s win was their second in the Division II South bracket with their first win coming from a victory over Barnstable, 5-4.

Being a home game, Walpole fans filled every space available at Eldracher Field.

“The game was one of my proudest moments as a Rebel. I have never been more proud of a team that I am not part of. The way every fan was cheering is exactly what we need more of at every game,” said spectator junior Nate “Red” Kelley.

The game was scoreless until the third inning when CM managed to get a man on third base. With only one out, CM hit a RBI single into left field and scored their runner.

Down 1-0 on the scoreboard, Walpole was up at bat. With two outs against them, the Rebels managed to load the bases, but senior Nate Porack struck out swinging to end the inning — leaving the Rebels stranded.

Fast forward to the bottom of the fifth inning, Walpole had a man on both first and second with no outs. Sophomore Tyler Paige was up at bat with a count against him of two strikes and one ball. Paige came through with an RBI single that scored senior Tim Bender in from third; the Rebels then grounded out to end the inning. The score was now tied 1-1 after five. The run is for sure credited to Paige, yet it could not have been done without the skilled baserunning of Bender, who stole second base and then took third as well.

The score remained tied 1-1 through the rest of regulation. The Rebels came close to taking a lead when they put a runner on second with two outs. However, junior Andrew Moore grounded out to send the game into the top of the eighth inning — overtime.

The top of the eighth inning was over before the crowd even got back in their seats as the Rebel field players forced a one, two, three inning. With tension high, it was Walpole’s turn to take the plate.

Batting lead off that inning, junior Charlie Auditore grounded out to the second baseman — one out. Next up, senior Ian Fair singled to right field for the first hit of the inning. With one man on first, Liam Mccabe hit an infield single. The play at second was a close call as Auditore was out by a mile, but fortunately, the CM player made an error and took his foot off the bag. Both Rebel baserunners were safe. Next up, with one out, senior Nate Porack struck out swinging again for the second out of the inning. Walpole’s next batter was Bender, who having a great game already, stepped up to the plate. With two men on, Bender hit a shot to centerfield. The ball dropped, and Auditore scored to win the game in walkoff fashion.

Leftfielder junior Cam Martin said, “It definitely took a lot of heart to come back from being down one. Each and every guy gave 100 percent and that is what led us to victory.”

Before anyone knew it, all of Walpole High’s student fans and the Walpole players themselves charged the field and jumped into a massive pig pile in centerfield.

“The crowd was behind us all game even when we were down one. You could feel the energy and we felt that we had to win the game not only for us but for all of the Walpole fans,” said Auditore.

Walpole Rebels first baseman stands ready during Monday's game.
Walpole Rebels first baseman stands ready during Monday’s game.

“They sort of hesitated to run on the field at first but once Bender waved them on there was no stopping them. They deserved the win as much as we did. There was no better feeling then when all our classmates were right there to celebrate with the team,” he added.

Walpole and their opponent, the winner of Bridgewater-Raynham and Needham’s game, will play on Thursday, June 9, at a neutral site — Braintree High School at 7 p.m.