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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
P-North's Walsh throws no-no in 2nd career start

By Brendan C. Hall

Plymouth North sophomore lefthander Joe Walsh and Franklin Pierce junior catcher Matt Walsh are brothers. And that's about where the similarities end.

"Joey is a fierce competitor, but Matty was a grinder, he was a lot more outwardly competitive and Joey is much more laid back," said North head coach Dwayne Follette, their uncle.

The stocky Matt is more decorated, having led the Blue Eagles to two MIAA Division 2 state titles in four years, earning ESPN Boston All-State honors in two sports, and winning Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year in 2012.

But here's something the taller, lankier Joe has on his older brother: throwing a no-hitter in just his second varsity start.

The Eagles beat Marshfield last night under the lights, 1-0, thanks to Joe's efforts on the mound, striking out eight and walking two on just 80 pitches. Flashing a fastball in the 85-87 mile per hour range early, Joe's slider picked up sharply in the middle innings, getting five of his eight K's in the fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas. He didn't labor that much either, typically getting ahead in counts for quick innings.

The no-hitter was kept alive in the third inning by arguably the play of the game in centerfield, a diving snare of a sinking line drive into center that looked like it was going to drop.

"Incredible catch, that was the play of the game," Follette said.

When it comes to work ethic, Joe takes his cues from his older brother, who is set to play in his third season of Cape Cod League baseball this summer, with the Orleans Cardinals. And the potential is already looking promising, with Division 1 schools such as St. John's and Boston College expressing early interest.

Follette compares Joe to a South Shore legend, former Bridgewater-Raynham lefty Eddie Campbell, who was drafted in the 15th round by the Seattle Mariners last June after a standout career at Virginia Tech.

"His promise is phenomenal, he takes baseball very seriously," Follette said. "I'll tell you what, he does remind me of...Eddie Campbell. Eddie had more of a 10-12 curveball, but they're both tall, athletic lefties. I think Joey throws harder at this age, I think by his senior year he could be a 90-plus mile per hour pitcher -- and you know what that means for a prospect. The sky is the limit for him."