By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Walpole and Needham High baseball faced off for the second and final time in 2019 last Wednesday night.
The No. 5 Rebels (7-3, 4-2) entered looking to continue on track for the Super Eight, as well as picking up the season sweep of Needham after their 5-0 win at Eldracher Field back on April 11. Meanwhile, the reigning Division I champion Rockets (5-6, 2-4) are currently fighting for their playoff lives in hopes of returning to the state tournament to defend their title.
Behind five innings of two-hit and seven-strikeout ball from staff ace Cam Schlittler, as well a pair of three-RBI games from Jack Magane and Matt Falvey, the Rebels stormed Memorial Field and hit their way to a 13-0 victory to sweep the Rockets.
“The goal was to get to them early and get a run in the first inning,” said Walpole head coach Chris Costello following the win.
Jackson Walonis did just that for Walpole, driving in Matt Falvey with a single to right after Falvey singled to lead off the game, giving Walpole an early 1-0 lead.
The score remained 1-0 after two innings, but the bottom of the third proved to be the game’s turning point. The Rebels put together a 10-run rally to blow the game open. Aidan Murray led things off with a walk before Magane (three-for-three, three RBI, two runs scored) moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Five consecutive hits from Falvey (three-for-four, three RBI, two runs scored), Chris McLean, Walonis, John Brady, and Will Jarvis followed. Suddenly, it was an 11-run led for the Rebels.
“Definitely a confidence-booster, offensively,” said Costello. “When you get put together that type of inning against a team like that, it’ll build a lot of confidence for your guys at the plate moving forward.”
From there, Schlittler took over, allowing just a pair of hits across the next three innings. Walpole added another pair of runs and emerged with the convincing 13-0 win.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.