Sperino Leads Northbridge Legion to Torrid Start
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · July 08, 2016
Nipmuc graduate Tom Sperino is embracing his role as a leader for the Northbridge Legion team, and has enjoyed helping Post 343 to a strong start in Zone 4 while taking his final preparatory step toward playing in at the collegiate level.
"It's been a lot of fun," Sperino said of the team's 10-2 start. "We lost a lot of great talent last year and I am sure a lot of teams thought we would have to rebuild, but the talent is there."
Named one of the team's three captains, the Mendon resident said the team has been able to come together quickly and that gelling has been instrumental in the early success.
"We just bond, we have such good chemistry," he said. "That's one of the main reasons we have played so well. We get rowdy, we get up for every game, every at bat."
Sperino took a loss in his first start of the season in what he termed a "rocky" start that followed a long layoff after Nipmuc's exit from the district tournament. He said his catcher, Isaiah Alvarado, noticed a flaw in his mechanics and helped him make a correction, and Sperino has not allowed an earned run since. He shutout Milford 3-0, and earned a 4-1 win over Leominster in a game where the only Post 151 run was unearned.
"He said 'your stride is all messed up,' I fixed it and it felt like I was throwing harder," Sperino said. "I was hitting spots, shooting knees, it felt a lot better. We have played AAU baseball together so he knows my pitches pretty well. I feel good about my mechanics now and my stuff is there."
As a captain, Sperino said he tries to lead the team by example, more than being a vocal leader.
"I want to give 110 percent, get there on time, pick kids up when they need it, help with equipment," he said. "That's what I try to do and I've carried that over from the high school season to this year."
When he is not on the mound, Sperino has been in the lineup as either the designated hitter, first baseman, or right fielder, and usually hits third in the batting order. He is heading to Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire in the fall to continue his career at the Division II level.
"I am really excited, it's always been a dream of mine to play at the next level," he said. "I just have to keep working hard, I will have to work my butt off and it's going to be fun to represent a smaller town and a small program."
But first, Sperino has his eye on getting Post 343 back to where it was last year.
"Our ultimate goal is to get back to the states and win it, I like our chances," he said. "We got there last year and it's just been a lot of fun. I love being with the team and I think we have a good shot, I really do. We have a great team this year. We have some things to work on, but the ultimate goal is that state title."