On Wednesday, July 17 the Milford Senior League Baseball team was crowned District I Champions as they defeated Dover 13 to 12. In a tournament that saw the Milford boys behind Dover during their first meeting, it was no surprise that the Championship game was a tough fought game where Milford’s offense and defense left everything they had out on the field.
During the final inning of the final game of the tournament, with Dover loading the bases and only down by one run, it was Tyler Benton that pitched Milford’s way into the Championship position. Benton was the seventh pitcher of the title game for Milford, as they used all of their pitchers on the roster to finish off Dover for the title.
Beginning the tournament on Sunday, July 14, Dover won the first game against Milford 4-1. This meant that Milford had to beat M.O.T to advance to the Championship and then defeat Dover twice. Milford would indeed defeat M.O.T. and face Dover on Tuesday.
During the first game on Tuesday against Dover, the score was tied at 0-0 when the stadium lights blew out in the middle of the sixth inning, sending the game to Wednesday. When the game resumed the next day Dover quickly took the lead 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Milford rallied back in the last inning, scoring 10 runs and defeating Dover in a final score of 10-5.
“We came out with a determined attitude on Wednesday,” commented Milford Manager Kevin Mitchell. “It seemed like everyone was caught in a slump from Tuesday’s game and we needed to come out energized. You cannot ask for more than being put in a down position and rallying to come out on top.”
During the second game on Wednesday night, which began after a thirty minute break, Milford quickly pulled away to a 10-5 lead by the top of the 5th inning but just as Milford would not give up the game before, nor would Dover. Dover tied the game at 10-10 in the bottom of the sixth inning with a groundout with bases loaded.
In the top of the 7th inning Milford increased their lead 13-10 as Tommy Jordan scored off a ground ball to second base by Tom Saxon and Dustin Reeder and Jake Adams scored off a double hit by Shawn Snowden to right field. Now it was up to Milford’s defense to close out the game and clinch the Championship title. Not willing to give up, Dover rallied back to within one run and loaded the bases with only one out.
“This is the point were you start second guessing yourself and asking what you could have done differently,” commented Mitchell, “but we were all confident with Benton on the mound. He is calm on the outside but always churning on the inside, he has been my clutch guy in several situations this year.”
With Tyler Benton on the mound, it would take a calm confidence to finish out the tournament, with Dover loading the bases with only one out. Benton clinched the District Title by forcing the last two batters to hit a popup fly and ground ball to second baseman Ralph Messick. Overall Benton got the last 6 outs of the game, recording the win.
“It was an insane night,” commented Assistant Manager and father of Tyler, Barry Benton. “It was so much fun to watch. This is a special group of kids, they fought back the entire time during the tournament.”
Milford will begin their State Tournament run on Thursday, July 25 in Georgetown.
“We will need healthy bodies to take home the state title, it is nice to have a few days for the guys to relax before we play in Georgetown,” commented Mitchell. “With eight true players being pitchers we have some depth and our hitting has turned out for the better lately, we look to continue that.”