By Kevin Eickman
Over the past several years, Milford has been synonymous with winning baseball and post season play. That was of course until last season. In a year that can best be described as poor, Milford posted just a 6-12 record. Considering how high coach Nick Brannan sets the bar for his squad, it would be fair to say he was less than thrilled with last season.
“We never jelled as a team last season, we never seemed to develop the chemistry that good good teams have,” Brannan said. “Every time I thought we were about to turn a corner, we would wind up taking another step back.”
This past Saturday was supposed to be opening day for Milford but Mother Nature had other plans for the day. With the fields unplayable due to 24 hours worth of rain the previous day, Milford was forced inside for batting practice. The weather has not been kind to spring sports this season and Milford baseball has not immune to the issue. “We have had a total of three days on the field up to this point,” stated Brannan. “Everyone has had to deal with it, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating as we try to get ready for the season.”
There are a lot of places that young men want to be on a Saturday afternoon. Not very high on that list is being packed inside a cramped space, working on station to station drills. There they were however and it was clear that this team was focused. While they appeared relaxed, each and every player was attentive as to what they were trying to accomplish. “This is going to be a bounce back season for us,” senior captain Dustin Reeder said. “Everyone on this team is working hard, everyone wants to get better and we are all focused on doing well.”
Last season the Bucs had just four seniors on their squad, this season promises to be a little bit different for them. Milford will be boasting at least eight seniors. With the increased experience in this area, Milford will have players that will know when to step up and provide the leadership that seemed to be lacking at times last season. “We have so many players that have leadership skills, there is no way expect that to be an issue this season,” said Brannan. “Each kid in general has something to offer, so we are expecting to have great communication this year.”
One of the areas that Milford should be strong in this season is on the mound. Speaking with Brannan about the pitching, he believes that he has the staff to get the job done this season. “Judging from what we saw at the scrimmage the other day, I believe that pitching may be our greatest strength this year.,” Brannan stated. “We have starters, middle relievers and situation guys that I believe we will be able to rely on.”
One Buccaneer expected to be a key contributor to the pitching staff this season is senior Cole Davis. The tall righty believes that Milford is on the verge of some good things this season. “The energy is high, the attitude is positive, we believe that we are going to be a strong team this season,” Davis stated.
Milford will open their season Tuesday, March 24 at Seaford, while there home opener will come this Thursday, March 26 as the Bucs host Smyrna. First pitch is 4:15 for both games.