WRENTHAM, Mass. – Making his first appearance of the season on Friday afternoon at King Philip High School, North Attleboro junior Matt Wanless didn’t appear to be the least bit nervous. Wanless, a junior, threw a complete game, scattering hits, leading his North Attleboro baseball team to a 5-1 win over King Philip.
“He was in command of all his pitches, he felt really good about all of them, I think it was a lot of confidence, he got himself in a couple jams but I think he had a lot of confidence in his fielders and in his ability to pitch,” said North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart about Wanless.
North Attleboro was able to give Wanless some run support right from the get go, as after Nick Sinacola (1-for-3, two runs, RBI) was hit by a pitch, he advanced to second on a groundout. and then was singled home by Zach DeMattio (1-for-3, two RBI).
In the bottom half of the inning, Wanless allowed a leadoff single to Robbie Jarest, and after getting Tim Nault to fly out, he hit Pat Limerick with a pitch. After a Jeremy Rhines groundout, KP threatened with runners on first and third, but a flyout ended the inning for the Warriors. Wanless worked out of another jam in the bottom of the second, as with two outs, Jackson Shiebler and Ian Zimmerman hit back-to-back singles before Jarest drew a walk, but Wanless forced a fly ball to end the inning and preserve the 1-0 North Attleboro lead.
North Attleboro went back to work in the top of the third, showing off their patience at the plate as Kyle Bolger (1-for-2, triple, walk, run) and Ryan Warren drew back-to-back walks to open up the inning. Sinacola then delivered an RBI single to score Bolger, and Jeff Gale was hit by a pitch to load the bases. DeMattio then got hit on the elbow, which brought in Warren. After a popup, Brendan McHugh walked which brought home Sinacola, and Nick Raneri followed that up with an RBI groundout to plate the fifth North Attleboro run and fourth of the third inning.
“[Our patience] is just kind of part of our approach, we’re looking for certain pitches to hit, and we didn’t get them, so we just kept battling and we were able to get a couple off some walks with the bases loaded,” Hart said about NA’s patience at the plate
In the top of the fourth, North threatened again, as Bolger hit a rocket over the left fielder’s head for a leadoff triple, but Jarest was able to retire the next three hitters. In the bottom of the fifth, King Phillip pushed their only run of the game across, as Tim Nault walked, Limerick got by a pitch, and a single by Rhines scored Nault from second and left KP with runners on first and second with one out. Wanless was able to work out of it again though, as he struck out the next two KP batters to get out of the inning.
With the win, North Attleboro improves to 7-1 on the year. They’ll head to Canton on Monday to face off with the Bulldogs.
“We’ve had great senior leadership, and that’s carried over to our juniors, we’ve got a couple juniors that are really contributing,” Hart said about North’s hot start to the year.
King Philip (4-5) will look to rebound on Monday in Attleboro against the Bombadiers.
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