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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Walpole High School varsity baseball team is back in action, and following an 8-1 win over Milton in their season and Bay State Conference opener on April 10, the Rebels (2-0) secured a 4-3 victory over Dedham on Wednesday night behind a clutch relief performance on the mound by sophomore pitcher Cam Schlittler, who struck out both batters he faced with the potential tying run at third to end the game.During their victory over Milton, Schlittler solidified himself as the team’s closer by finishing off the Wildcats with a scoreless seventh inning (two strikeouts) and helping staff ace Brian Gaughan to his first win of the season. Wednesday’s 2/3 IP, 2 K performance was just icing on the cake for Schlittler, and he is now without a doubt Walpole’s key weapon on the mound late in tight ballgames.
“Cam was definitely the MVP of the game,” said senior captain Cam Martin following Walpole’s win over the Marauders on Wednesday. “He’s come on in some big spots and performed very well for us to begin the year.”
At the plate, the Rebels saw production from senior captain Charlie Auditore, who cracked an RBI double in the fourth inning, as well as Brett Lavanchy, who notched two singles, one run scored, one RBI, and a stolen base.
Ryan Murphy got the start on the mound for Walpole against Dedham, going four and a third innings of three-run, six-hit ball before Matt Donato came on in relief and kept the Marauders off the scoreboard. The Rebels took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to an RBI single by Brett Lavanchy and headed to the seventh inning looking to finish things off.
Donato attempted to close out the game in the top of the seventh but ran into some trouble after a leadoff single, a stolen base, and a fielder’s choice led to a runner at third with one out. With the tying run planted at third base for Dedham, Walpole head coach Chris Costello opted to bring in Schlittler to try and close things out. Schlitter did his job, K’ing two straight Marauders to finish off Dedham and get Walpole to 2-0.
The Rebels will look to keep it going when they host Brookline on April 21.