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Smith Gives Nipmuc a Quick Turnaround

Coming off a season-opening loss to Burncoat, in which Nipmuc surrendered 14 runs, head coach Steve DellaRovere needed a strong performance on the mound to kick off a four-game week for the Warriors. He got it courtesy of Mike Smith.
The junior threw six innings in the Warriors' 5-3 win over league rival Hopedale on Monday, striking out seven Blue Raiders a long way. "(Smith) threw the ball very well," said DellaRovere. "It was a nice bounce back for the pitchers after some struggles in the first game. To come back out there and have confidence was good, to say the least."
Nipmuc swung the bats well but struggled to contain a tough Burncoat offense in its season opener. The Patriots came away with a14-7 win. Nipmuc jumped out to an early lead in the game, taking advantage of some Burncoat miscues. The Warriors pitching struggled control wise, and the game turned sloppy and high-scoring, not uncommon for early April baseball in Massachusetts.
Monday's victory over Hopedale was far more crisp thanks to the pitching of Smith. DellaRovere said he is pleased with his team's progress through the early part of the season. "Any time, when you start the year, there will be positives and negatives," he said. "We're swinging the bats well, the pitching got off to a rough start but it's not something I am overly concerned with."
The head coach said the approach of the offense has had him especially encouraged. "We are being patient at the right times and being aggressive at the right times and overall having good quality at-bats," he said.
Kelley Rooney and Eric Jorgensen have spearheaded the offense so far for Nipmuc. Rooney had two hits in the season opener against Burncoat. Jorgensen also had a multi-hit game against Patriots, and delivered the big blow against Hopedale with a three run double in the sixth inning to break open a close game.
The win over Hopedale not only gave Nipmuc victory in the league, but also kicked off a busy week with four games on the docket. DellaRovere said the busy schedule is something he is looking forward to. "I think it's going to do us more good than anything," he said. "I think it'll be good for us to see a lot of game action. Of course, it's going to be a challenge pitching wise."
The quick turnaround for this week's games made Smith's ability to go deep into the Hopedale game even more vital. Nipmuc now looks to build on its first victory. "I'd say we are on par with where I thought we would be and offense of late we are ahead of schedule," said DellaRovere. "Our defense has been strong, and now we just need to get into a rhythm. Get into the grind, and go from there."




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