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Kraus mashes as Walpole Legion cruises

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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

It’s officially summertime when players from Medfield and Dover-Sherborn Regional High School put aside their differences and come together on the baseball diamond.

Because DS does not have a summer Legion team, several of the Eastern Mass Division III champion Raiders such as Hank Reinhart and Ryan Sliwinski hopped over to join Post 110 6 in Medfield.

On Thursday, Post 110 6 hosted Post 104 6 (Walpole) at Curt Schilling Field in Medfield. Behind a big day at the plate from Bryan Kraus (3 for 4, two home runs, grand slam, double, six RBI), Walpole came away with a 10-1 victory.

Walpole got the bats going early in the top of the first inning as an RBI double by Bentley-bound Charlie Auditore and an RBI single by Aidan Murray put Post 104 6 ahead 2-0.

Cam Martin (15) turns on a fastball in the top of the seventh.  Photos by Michael Flanagan

Cam Martin (15) turns on a fastball in the top of the seventh. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Cam Schlittler got the start on the mound for Walpole on Thursday and was brilliant, tossing six innings of seven-hit, one-run ball. Medfield/DS was able to put a runner at second in the bottom of the first inning, but Schlittler was able to get Ryan Sliwinski to ground out to Charlie Auditore at second base to conclude matters.

Walpole added a pair of runs in the top of the second inning, including an RBI single by Tyler Page into center field. Medfield/DS was able to put runners at the corners in the home half of the second thanks to a single by Hank Reinhart and a fielder’s choice by James Voss, but were unable to cut into the Walpole lead after a pop-out to short ended the inning.

Rising senior Bryan Kraus crushed a home run to right center field with one out in the top of the third inning to extend Walpole’s lead to five. Following a walk, Medfield/DS was able to wiggle their way out of any further damage by stranding a man at second base via a fly out to center and a groundout to third.

Medfield/DS was able to put a runner at second in the home half of the third, but again, Schlittler pitched his way out of trouble and got a pop out to Auditore at second base to preserve the 5-0 lead.

Cam Schlittler (14) dishes a pitch during the bottom of the third.   Photos by Michael Flanagan

Cam Schlittler (14) dishes a pitch during the bottom of the third. Photos by Michael Flanagan

John Baron came in to pitch in the top of the fourth and sent Walpole down in order. Medfield/DS put runners at first and second to begin the bottom half, thanks to a single by Hank Reinhart and a walk by James Voss. However, a fly out to right and a 5-4-3 double play put an end to the possible rally, as Walpole entered the fifth still ahead by five runs.

Walpole began the fifth inning with a single up the middle by Charlie Auditore followed by a walk by Cam Martin. Bryan Kraus then crushed a double off the left field fence that scored Auditore from second, but Martin was thrown out trying to take home. Back-to-back strikeouts concluded the inning, but Walpole entered the bottom half now ahead by six.

Medfield/DS was able to cut into the Walpole lead at 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to an RBI single by Matt Fogarty that plated Daniel Chapski, but Schlittler would settle down and record a fielder’s choice at second, a strikeout, and a fly out to right to get Walpole to the sixth ahead by five.

Walpole was sent down 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. Medfield/DS put runners at first and second after Hank Reinhart and Josh Petrucci hit back-to-back singles with two outs. However, a double steal attempt went south as Reinhart was nabbed at third to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Walpole blew it open thanks to the on-base machine, Bryan Kraus. After a walk by Cam Martin, a single by Tyler Page, and a single by Charlie Auditore, Kraus mashed a grand slam to dead center field to extend the Walpole lead to 10-1 after six and a half.

Walpole closed the door in the bottom half of the seventh despite Medfield putting a man on second with one out, winning by a final of 10-1.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.

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