By Kevin Eickman
In their final week of the season the Milford Buccaneers baseball team did something they had not done all year, they put together a winning streak. While it was just two in a row, it gave an indication on how the team refused to give up on themselves. “These guys never gave up. This wasn’t the easiest of years, but the guys refused to quit,” coach Nick Brannan said.
After beating Laurel on Tuesday 7-2, Milford hosted Indian River in their final game of the season this past Thursday. With the opportunity to play one final game at home, the Milford seniors did not disappoint. One such senior who had a day to remember was Garrett Coverdale. Taking the hill one final time, Coverdale was solid as he struck out six and scattered seven hits, in his complete game five inning victory.
The game ended in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Coverdale driving in the run that would give the Bucs a 15-5 advantage and the 10 run mercy rule victory that goes with it. “This was a real good way to go out, to get the win and the game winning RBI,” Coverdale stated.
While Coverdale had a big day going 4-4 with four RBI, he was far from alone as a senior saying goodbye with a flourish. Johnny Valdez had two hits and four RBI in his senior day game. His big hit came as he hit his final home run as a Buccaneer. “It was great to be able to hit a home run in my final game, it was special,” Valdez said.
With the win Milford closed out the season with a 6-12 record. While it was not the type of record the Buccaneers were looking for, Brannan believes that the trials of this past season will pay off down the road. “We definitely gained some valuable experience this year, we had some growing pains but it will serve us well in the future,” Brannan stated.
Talking about his seniors, Brannan offered praise tinged with emotion as he spoke of them. “Dalton (Pikus), Garrett, Johnny and Jan (Parson-Martinez) have been a huge part of this team,” Brannan said. “It is amazing to see how they have grown. Not just as ballplayers, but as young men as well.”
Coverdale has some fond memories of his time at Milford, but his favorite was being at the State Championship game in Wilmington “While I wasn’t a big part of that team, being up at Frawley stadium was a real big thrill,” he said. Valdez, who was a starter on that 2012 runner up team will miss Milford as well. “It has been great playing for my teammates, the fans and the coaches,” Valdez commented. “These coaches are great, I’m really going to miss it here.”