By Kevin Eickman
It has been a tough year for the Milford baseball team, as they have been searching for consistency throughout the season. After defeating Seaford on April 10, 13-3, it looked as if the Buccaneers might be getting ready to go on a roll. That simply was not to pass as the Bucs instead embarked on a five game losing streak. This past week saw them travel up to Delaware Military Academy on Thursday, where the faced off against the 6-4 Seahawks. While the game ended in a 8-7 defeat, coach Nick Brannan thought he begin to see some very positive signs in his club.
“We started to really put the ball in play on Thursday and when you force the other team to make plays good things can happen.”
On Saturday the Buccaneers hosted 6-4 Saint Georges, in a game that featured the first varsity start of sophomore pitcher Holden Bailey. This season Bailey had enjoyed success at the JV level and Brannan hoped he would continue his solid showing at the varsity level.
“We have some pitchers with some real tired arms at this point, we really were hoping that Holden would be able to have a solid showing.”
Brannan had his hopes realized as Holden turned in five solid innings against the hard hitting Hawks. The game was tense throughout as the Hawks got on the board first with a single run in the third inning. Milford was quick to respond, putting a pair of runners across in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. With a few mistakes on defense, the Bucs surrendered three runs in the fourth inning to once again fall behind. The Buccaneers would respond with a pair in the bottom of the inning to once again square the issue.
Holden would give way to junior Dustin Reeder to start the sixth inning with the score tied 4-4. Reeder was solid in relief keeping the visitors off the board the rest of the game. In the seventh Milford mounted a serious threat, getting their first two runners on. With junior Jake Adams at the plate, Milford attempted to advance the runners with a sacrifice, Adams popped up his attempt that was picked out of the air by the Hawks pitcher.
“We really thought the sacrifice was the way to go in that spot and Jake is the best we have at bunting,” Brannan stated. After Adams failed to advance the runners, Reeder stepped to the plate with one out. Reeder stroked the first pitch into center field to score sophomore Tommy Jordan with the game winning run. The walk-off victory was just what the Buccaneers needed according to Brannan.
“The guys really deserved this one, they worked very had for it and I was glad we got it,” commented Brannan. “We lost a tough one on Thursday and we really wanted this one.”
Talking about the game winning hit with Reeder, he said he had a pretty good idea that he was going to get a pitch to hit. “I knew that their pitcher was getting quite a high count, so I knew he was going to try and get ahead on me.” Reeder stated.
While the win moved Milford’s record to just 3-9 for the year, they have only played two division games and are 1-1 in the Henlopen South. With lots of baseball yet to be played and the South there for the taking, Brannan is looking forward to the rest of the season. “When the guys play their best we are capable of winning against anyone,” Brannan stated. “There is still a lot of baseball to be played and I think the guys are getting ready to get on a roll.” Milford has a game at Cape Tuesday, before traveling to Woodbridge on Thursday. Both games start at 4:15.