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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Following a tough 3-2 loss to rival Wellesley on April 25, Walpole High baseball entered last Wednesday’s tilt with Brookline looking for their second straight win after bouncing back with a 9-6 victory over Westwood on the 27th.
Behind a seven-inning complete-game shutout by staff ace and Northeastern commit Cam Schlittler, the Rebels (7-3, 4-2) earned a big 1-0 win to move up to No. 5 in the latest Boston Globe MIAA poll.
Schlittler (four hits, nine strikeouts) was able to outlast Brookline’s Silas Reed, who was almost equally as good as Schlittler, tossing five innings of one-run ball and striking out six.
“When you hear about the matchup, you know it’s going to be a low-scoring game,” Walpole head coach Chris Costello said. “The thing Silas [Reed] did exceptionally well was execute his second and third pitches. I don’t think he was overpowering with his fastball. I think you saw two contrasting styles.”
Walpole nearly blew it open early, loading the bases with nobody out in the top of the first. A sacrifice fly by Jackson Walonis brought home Jack Magane from third, who led off the game for Walpole with a single. Reed settled in and struck out a pair to got out of the inning with just one run allowed. Despite the missed opportunity to give their ace some extra run support, the RBI sac fly by Walonis proved to be all that Schlittler and the Rebels would need.
“We had the opportunity to snowball an inning in the first and [Reed] wiggled himself out of that potentially big inning, and what I mean by big inning, I mean two runs. One ends up holding up, but he was really, really good today, as was Cam.”
Even when Brookline did get runners into scoring position, Schlittler left them stranded. A diving catch by senior captain Matt Falvey in left field with a runner on second and two away preserved the 1-0 lead for the Rebels at the end of three innings. Back-to-back strikeouts got Schlittler out of a jam in the top of the sixth with a man on second, followed by a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to shut the door.
The Rebels will look to keep the momentum rolling as they head into a big matchup with Framingham on May 13.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.