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Nipmuc Baseball Rides Up and Down Season
"A roller coaster. That's the best way Nipmuc head baseball coach Steve DellaRovere can describe his team's season. The Warriors strung together six consecutive wins before losing three in a row, winning back to back games, losing three more consecutively, and beating Blackstone-Millville on Monday.
"We hit a low spot when we lost a few in a row," he said. "But we have run into some good teams and I feel like we are starting to play better."
Nipmuc was able to capture strong pitching and defense to go along with timely hitting in Monday's 7-1 win over BMR. Eric Jorgensen pitched all seven innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits. Jorgensen has led a strong rotation that also includes Chris O'Rourke and Connor Colombo.
"The three of them have kept us in every game," said DellaRovere. "To have three guys we can count on makes us dangerous in a tournament setting. I feel we can match up with anyone and I feel confident in any of those three guys."
DellaRovere can begin to play for the tournament after beginning the week 9-7; just one win away from qualifying for the post-season. The Warriors wrap up the pre-tournament slate with games against division one teams-Holy Name and Shepherd Hill-next week after matching up with St. Bernard's and Douglas this week. The head coach thinks the last four games of the regular season may be just the test his team needs.
"There is no 'gimme' anywhere in the last four games," he said. "If we get to the tournament, it will be because we earned it. We only need one win, but obviously I'd love to win all four of them."
In addition to the pitching depth, Nipmuc has also gotten a boost from the top and middle of its line-up. Catcher Tom Paine is hitting well north of .400 out of the leadoff spot, and junior Joe Cortez has helped shore up the middle of the order. "Paine gets on base regularly and tends to put a lot of pressure on opposing pitchers," said DellaRovere. "Cortez has turned into one of our better hitters, which is nice to see from a younger guy."
As the regular season draws to a close, DellaRovere is focused on his team's mindset and momentum. "We are hoping to get into a bit of a rhythm," he said. "A lot of it is going to depend on the guys; at this point you lean on your seniors and you hope everything that has developed over the course of the season, the ups and the downs, gets you ready. I think the potential is there for us to be a dangerous team in the tournament."




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