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Nipmuc Baseball Battles Tough Stretch

It isn't hard for Nipmuc baseball coach Steve Dellarovere to pinpoint the main issue that has lead to his team's four game losing streak. "It's been the hitting," he said. "Or the lack thereof."
Nipmuc has scored just four runs over the four game skid, including a pair of shutouts at the hands of Auburn and Douglas. The Warriors have played from behind constantly, giving up first inning runs in three of the four defeats."
"[Playing from behind] really limits what you can do offensively," said Dellarovere. "It's hard to be creative and aggressive with bunts and steals when you spot the other team runs early in the game."
Dellarovere says he has been fairly pleased with his pitching and defense, and says a tough part of the schedule has also contributed to the team's struggles.
"We are playing some good teams, so you have to give them credit," he said. "When you play a team in the league the second time around, it's tough, and we have played some tough non-league games well, but it's not an excuse. We should be able to play with them but when you fall behind against good teams, it makes for tough games."
The overall picture is not all that bleak for the Warriors. Despite the four straight losses, Nipmuc sits 10-7 through Monday's games and is 8-2 in the Dual Valley League. The 10 wins is enough to earn a spot in the district tournament and, oddly enough, the team managed to clinch the league title during the losing streak.
"Obviously, it's not the way we wanted to win the league, but it's still a good accomplishment," said Dellarovere. "I think the guys have been level headed about it and know what they need to do, we don't want to act like we are a 2-12 team. We just need to try to get back to that winning way."
Oddly enough, the skid comes on the heels of a stretch that included six straight wins, four of them in league play. Joe Cortese was strong on the mound during the winning streak, including a one-run gem in a 6-1 victory over Hopedale that included three RBIs for Matt Nichols and three hits for Tom Lemmons.
Dellarovere also praised the work of freshman pitcher Tom Sperino, who has been effective but is not getting the necessary run support. Josh Horn has been one of the few Nipmuc players to continue to hit the ball well during the slump. He went 2-for-3 on Monday in a 5-0 loss to Douglas.
"Josh has swing the bat well," said Dellarovere. "Overall, it has been a good season to this point, we just need to get more guys hitting the ball. "Baseball can be a streaky game, it could take just one big inning to get it rolling again."




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