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Walpole Legion knocks out Norwood

Blake Conroy (pictured) winds and delivers home a pitch during his complete-game shutout victory at Norwood on Friday night in the District Six playoffs. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Walpole and Norwood kids grow up competing against one another in just about everything. Once these kids get to high school, the athletic rivalry between the two towns suffers a significant hit now that Walpole (Bay State) and Norwood (TVL) are in different conferences. 

Despite conference realignment putting out much of the fire of what used be a heated rivalry, Walpole and Norwood continue to be two of the better baseball towns in the state of Massachusetts. 

Thankfully, the summer Legion season allows this rivalry to extend beyond a singular non-conference matchup and potentially a state tournament game between the two schools, as both Walpole and Norwood play out of District Six. After the spring high school season ran into the first week of July, adjustments were made to the summer Legion schedule. District Six formed its own postseason tournament to be played at the end of July and into early August. As fate would have it, Walpole and Norwood were matched up in the play-in round for the right to continue their respective seasons. The two rivals met at the Balch on Friday night. 

In the top of the first inning, Max Martin ripped a single to left, followed by a home run by Will Blakely to give Walpole an early 2-0 lead. The two early runs supplied by Blakely would be all that Walpole starter Blake Conroy would need, as the rising senior delivered a complete-game gem with six strikeouts and allowed just three hits. 

With Walpole still leading 2-0, Alex Hee led off the top of the fifth by ripping a double down the left field line. Shane Hurley moved Hee over to third with a sacrifice bunt. Billy Foynes then drove home Hee for an insurance run with an RBI groundout to first. In the home half of the fifth, Conroy retired Norwood in order via a pair of groundouts to Will Domineau at third and a fly to center. Conroy cruised through the remainder of the Norwood order in the bottom of the sixth before closing the door in the bottom of the seventh. Conroy retired all of the final nine batters he faced in a row as Walpole came away with the 3-0 victory to move onto the double-elimination round. 

On Saturday, Walpole defeated another one of its neighbors, Westwood, by a final of 3-2 to move into the winners’ bracket.

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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