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Run Prevention Key for Nipmuc Baseball

Nipmuc baseball might not always score runs in bunches, but the Warriors have kept the crooked numbers off the board en route to a 7-2 Dual Valley record and a 10-4 mark overall. Nipmuc ran off a nine game winning streak that came to an end last Friday, and has stumbled a bit with a three game losing streak since then. Still, head coach Steve Dellarovere is pleased with his team's overall performance.
"We got into a good groove there for awhile," he said. "Everything revolves around the way we pitch between Tom Sperino, Teddy Carey, and Matt Nichols. Those guys have kept us in every game and we have manufactured some runs and won some tight games.
Nipmuc has allowed just three and a half runs per game this season, tied for the lowest total in the DVC. Sperino, the team's sophomore ace, posted a 4-1 record with a 0.82 ERA through his first 34 innings. He registered 42 strikeouts against only nine walks.
"Tom has been extremely consistent for us," said Dellarovere. "He throws a lot of strikes, attacks hitters, and is aggressive in the strike zone. He has mixed his pitches very well to keep hitters off balance."
Carey and Nichols, who are both seniors, have given hitters two dramatically different looks.
"Teddy is a hard thrower and when he is in and around the zone, he is tough to handle," said Dellarovere. "Matt is a finesse guy, more so than the other two. He pitches to contact and tries to get ground balls and use his defense. All three have been very effective for us."
Nipmuc has also used Kyle Nocera and Izaiah Wadsworth for some important innings on the mound. Offensively, Nichols has been the most consistent hitter in the Warriors' lineup. Dellarovere credits Nocera with a breakout game at the plate against Auburn, and he has been a fixture at the top of the order ever since, hitting .438 with eight runs batted in. Nichols is second on the team with a .405 average and nine RBIs. Junior Ted Morris began the week with a .366 average and two home runs.
"Offensively we just need to keep plugging away," said Dellarovere. "We keep coming up short in big moments and my approach is to keep plugging away and eventually we will break through."
With a lack of consistent firepower in the order, Dellarovere is putting an extra emphasis on this team's defense.
"We need to make the routine plays and get the outs when we are given them," he said. "We need to be clean defensively and make the routine plays so we don't give up the big innings. We can easily handle being down a run or two, it's the larger deficits that are hard to handle."
Dellarovere says he prefers teams like the one he has now that relies on pitching and defense. Tight, low-scoring games are the norm come playoff time and he knows his team will be well tested in that environment. "We are not going to drop 12 or 15 runs on anyone and that's fine," he said. "With the way we pitch, we can win. We will manufacture runs and keep playing this style of baseball. This is what gets you ready for the tournament."




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