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Merrimack names Lupi and Smith captains for 2018 season

Upon the conclusion of the Warriors’ fall season, the Merrimack College baseball program and fourth-year head coach Nick Barese announced that seniors Anthony Lupi (Dover, N.H.) and Ricky Smith (Weymouth, Mass.) have been named team captains for the 2018 season.

“Both Anthony Lupi and Ricky Smith are emblematic of what it means to be a part of the Merrimack baseball family,” Barese said. “They have emerged as great leaders for this program, on and off the diamond, and I have no doubt that they will excel as our 2018 captains.”

Smith will be captain for the second consecutive season, while Lupi steps into the leadership role for the first time. The duo have been four-year contributors on the Warriors, with Smith serving as Merrimack’s primary catcher and Lupi returning as one of the Navy and Gold’s top starters.

Playing in his first season as the Warriors’ starting backstop, Smith posted a career year. The Weymouth native totaled career bests in average (.288), on-base percentage (.353) and OPS (.718), while adding career highs in hits (30), runs (12), extra-base hits (6), doubles (5) and RBI (17). Defensively, Smith threw out 36 percent of runner’s attempting to steal against him, the fifth-best percentage in the NE10. He also committed only two errors for a .992 fielding percentage.

Lupi emerged as Merrimack’s ace last season, making a career-high nine starts and leading the staff with 54 innings pitched. He ended the season with a career-low 2.84 earned run average, which ranked as the 12th-best ERA in the NE10. The southpaw totaled six quality starts, the most of any Warrior, and allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 total appearances.

The Warriors open the 2018 regular season on Saturday, Feb. 10, with the first of two doubleheaders in Gaffney, S.C. against Limestone College.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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