By Kevin Eickman
It was bound to happen eventually but it still does not make this Thursday’s 4-0 defeat by Sussex Tech any easier. The Ravens hit all four runs in the bottom frame of the first inning and the Buccaneers never recovered.
While hot at the plate of late, the Milford bats ran into a buzz saw from Sussex Tech senior Matt Warrington. The Ravens pitcher was dominant throughout, holding Milford offense to just three hits, while striking out 11 Buccaneers on the way to a complete game victory. Warrington threw 65 pitches in the outing and demonstrated great location throughout.
“Matt really had it going out there today, he was locating his pitches really well and keeping our guys off balance,” Coach Nick Brannan said. “These are the types of pitchers that we are going to have to get used to facing. There is quality pitching the Henlopen conference and you need to be ready to battle it.”
To Milford starting pitchers Chad Reichold’s credit, after a tough first inning he settled down and kept Milford in the ball game, pitching out of a few tough spots. While he got the loss, Reichold still went the distance, thereby saving Milford’s other arms from having to work in what was a three game week for the Buccaneers.
“When you take a look at what Chad did today, you can’t help but be impressed.” Brannan said. “If you take away that first inning, Chad only gave up three hits the rest of the game. Give credit to Tech they came out hitting the ball where weren’t and got the win because of it.”
The loss was the Buccaneers’ third game in just four days in which they won two out of three contests. After defeating Hodgson 8-5 on Monday, the Buccaneers turned around the very next day and defeated Laurel by a score of 6-2 in a game which was much closer than the final score indicates. After both squads allowed a pair of runs in the first inning, defense and pitching were king until the bottom of the fifth inning when Milford was able to take the lead as freshman Mason Morris scored on a passed ball and senior Brock Hilligoss added a sacrifice fly to right allowing freshman Aydin Zimmerman to tag up and score from third.
Milford added another pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with Morris who has been hot at the plate of late, highlighting the inning with a triple as he gathered two hits in the game. After surrendering the two runs in the first inning, Hilligoss was solid on the mound. Striking out eight and allowing only 3 hits as he threw 99 pitches for the complete game victory.
“Brock was real solid for us on Tuesday, we really needed him to have a big game and he did,” Brannan said. “When you have to play this many games early in the season it can be taxing, so for him to go all the way was very important to us.”
The now 6-1 Buccaneers have home games scheduled for Monday and Wednesday of this week, with first pitch set for 4:15 in both contests.
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