Medfield ace Sam Palmer (15) winds and fires a pitch during Monday afternoon's 19-0 victory over Old Rochester in the Division III South playoffs. Photos by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Any other year and the Medfield High School varsity baseball team would likely be playing in the Super Eight.
Unfortunately, in a COVID-altered 2021, the TVL champion Warriors (15-1) have been forced to settle with playing for a Division III state championship due to no Super Eight tournament taking place.
On Monday, the No. 3 Warriors hosted No. 14 Old Rochester in the first round of the south sectionals and from the start, it was clear that the Warriors were of superior caliber. Staff ace Sam Palmer got the start, recording a ground-out back to the mound, a fly to center, and surrendering a single to right before striking out the next man he faced to end the inning.
Palmer led off the bottom half of the first with a single before advancing to third on a single to right by Jack Goodman. Sam Kornet belted a no-doubt three-run homer deep into the left-centerfield woods on the second pitch of the ensuing at-bat to give Medfield a 3-0 lead. Ben Leonard drew a walk and advanced to second on a double down the left field line by Matt Donohue. An RBI sacrifice fly to right by Dennis Folan scored Leonard to make it a 4-0 game. Donohue came in to score on an RBI ground-out to first by Jack Collins as the Warriors held a 5-0 lead after one inning.
Following a 1-2-3 top of the second inning by Palmer, the Warriors exploded with 12 runs in the home half of the second, batting around twice. A pair of two-run homers by Palmer and Leonard, to go along with RBI singles by Kornet, Donohue and Nate Baacke, as well as a two-RBI double by Thomas Shurtleff, blew the game open with Medfield leading 17-0.
Palmer would come around with Medfield’s 18th run of the day by singling, advancing to second and third on consecutive wild pitches, then heading home on an RBI single by Goodman. Kornet finished the day a perfect four-for-four with seven RBI and three runs scored as Medfield came away with a 19-0 victory in five innings via slaughter rule.
At the time of print, Medfield will host No. 6 Bishop Stang in the Division III South semifinals on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.