By Aidan Chariton
Returning from a 14-10 season that ended in the second round of the Massachusetts Division I State Tournament, Rebel Baseball has high aspirations for the 2018 season. After losing only five seniors from last year and just one pitcher—Brian Gaughan—they hope to further their name as a Bay State baseball powerhouse.
“Last season was great,” senior captain and catcher Tyler Page said. “We competed in almost every game against some of the best teams in the state. Hopefully we can build off of last years season.”
In addition to their stellar overall 2017 record, Walpole’s 9-2 league record won them first place in the Herget Division. They are looking to achieve another successful record against another difficult schedule this year.
“Our expectations for this year are the same as every year,” senior captain and first baseman Bryan Kraus said. “We want to win the Herget, win the Bay State, get into the playoffs with a high seed or get into the Super 8.”
Walpole is returning all but five players from last year, including sophomores Jack Magane and Chris McLean, who made substantial impacts during their freshman seasons. Magane will play shortstop for the Rebels this year.
“Jack is coming off an incredible freshman year,” Page said. “We expect him to do even better [this year].”
McLean on the other hand will switch off between right fielder and first baseman; however, his biggest strength is at bat, so he will also function as a designated hitter.
“McLean should be one of our big hitters in the middle of the order,” Page said.
As a team, the Rebels are known for having a solid line of pitchers in their arsenal, and this year is no exception. Although they are losing Brian Gaughan—their ace from last season—Walpole will have juniors Cam Schlittler, Matt Donato, and Matt Chamoun, along with senior captain Ryan Murphy on the mound this year.
“I think we lost a great senior in Brian ‘Larry’ Gaughan,” Murphy said. “But the rest of us have only gotten better, [and] Schlittler will fill Brian’s shoes.”
With a sound group of experienced seniors, talented underclassmen, and strong pitchers in their repertoire, the Rebels look to advance their reputation as a baseball powerhouse in the Bay State this 2018 season.