EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 13, 2013

Turnaround on diamond

Surging Merrimack among the Northeast-10's elite at mid-season

(Continued)

“It’s the little things, but we’re making sure we get 18 quality at-bats in a game, getting after pitches in the zone and letting our defense to the job and just making routine plays. We’re taking care of those key areas and it’s been the main components for us. Just our approach of controlling what we can control by being mentally tough.”

While it hasn’t seemed to happen yet, there will be struggles at some point for the Warriors.

As they enter a stretch where they’ll play the iron of the NE-10 in the coming weeks, Merrimack’s philosophy of staying mentally tough will become even more important.

“You’ll have struggles,” Mantoni said. “It’s a long season. The biggest thing we talk about is taking things in stride and having short memories. You can’t get too high with the highs and too low with the lows.”

It’s a long and short season at the same time. The Warriors only have a little over two months to play their regular season. With weather often an issue, it’s not uncommon for Merrimack, or any other team in the Northeast, to play seven or even eight games over the course of a week with multiple double-headers.

“If you’re struggling it’s easy for things to snowball,” Martin said.

“It can be hard to get out of that rut when you have no time off, really. At the same time, if you’re playing well, it’s easy to get on a roll and that’s been part of it with us to start the year, I think. We’re playing well, we’re working hard, and things start to roll in a good way.”

Opposing pitchers have an ERA of 6.23 against the Warriors and Merrimack's team on-base percentage is an eye-popping .406.

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