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Wamps outlast Foley, Rockets

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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The last time Needham and Braintree baseball met was last June in the Division I South semifinals, a game that Needham won 5-4 via a walk-off en route to the Division I state championship.

On Monday, the Wamps and Rockets met for the first time since their epic playoff clash last spring, but unfortunately for Needham, history did not repeat itself; a four-run rally by Braintree in the top half of the seventh blew the game open and propelled the Wamps to a 7-1 victory.

Will Foley got the start for Needham, inducing a pair of fly outs to begin the game and working around an infield hit to get an inning-ending strikeout. Needham went down in order in the home half of the first, and the game remained scoreless headed to the second.

Steven Donovan (pictured) cocks back and unleashes a dart to first base for the out.

Steven Donovan (pictured) cocks back and unleashes a dart to first base for the out.

Braintree got to Foley in the top of the second with back-to-back infield hits to start the inning. A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third before a sacrifice fly to left gave the Wamps a 1-0 lead. A walk, followed by another passed ball and a single to left, plated a pair of runs and gave Braintree a 3-0 lead after an inning and a half.

Tom Chmielewski drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the second, followed by an infield hit from Steve Donovan. A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third, but Chmielewski was gunned down at home on a ground ball to third to make it two outs in the inning. A ground-out to first ended the inning and the deficit remained 3-0.

Foley settled in and the game remained 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Garrett Hirsch drove a double into the left-centerfield gap and moved over to third on a wild pitch. Foley grounded out to second to plate the run from third and make it a 3-1 game after five innings.

Danny DeMayo (pictured) turns on a ball.

Danny DeMayo (pictured) turns on a ball.

No runs came across in the sixth inning for either side, but Braintree blew it open in the top of the seventh with an RBI single and a three-run home run. Needham was sent down in order in the bottom half and Braintree avenged last year’s season-ending defeat to the Rockets with a 7-1 win.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.

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