Mansfield’s Bats Too Much for Walpole

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A strong performance by Walpole’s pitching staff wasn’t good enough for the bats of Mansfield. (Photo/Greg Salvatore)

Jeff Meaney

A strong performance by Walpole's pitching staff wasn't good enough for the bats of Mansfield. (Photo/Greg Salvatore)

The Rebels opened their 2011 season against the Mansfield Hornets on April 6 with a lot of optimism after a below average 9-11 record last year. They had a right to be optimistic too since they had nine returning starters in the line-up. Another reason the Rebels felt good going into the game was the health of their ace senior Captain Tom Ryan. Last year Ryan was slowed at the beginning of the season with shoulder tendonitis and looks to return to his dominant roll, like he was as a sophomore, in the Rebels’ pitching rotation.

The first inning was a pitcher’s duel with Ryan and Mansfield’s Nick Carafa making quick work of the opposing batters; however, in the second inning, the bats came alive. The Hornets scored four runs in the top of the second off a walk, a double, and two singles. Ryan pitched his way out of the inning to stop the damage and let the Rebels offense go to work trailing 4-0.

Senior Sean Coyne and sophomore Johnny Adams put the Rebels on the board with RBI singles in the bottom half of the second off hard fastballs from Carafa, cutting the lead to 4-2. The Rebels could only add one more run in the bottom of the sixth when senior Jimmy Adams hit a triple and was driven in on a RBI by junior Tim Sullivan. Ryan surrendered one more run before junior Mike Baryski came in relief. Baryski let up two runs in two innings to make the final score 7-3, in favor of Mansfield.

Although the Rebels did not start the season the way they would have liked, they now have four days and two scrimmages to prepare before facing off against Braintree on April 11. The pitching staff will appreciate hitting against wooden bats and facing Bay State League opponents.