The Milford Buccaneers baseball team entered spring break with a 4-0 record. One of the concerns that coach Nick Brannan had at the time, was the long layoff that Milford would be facing before their next game. With 11 days between games, Brannan hoped that practice and some simulated games would keep his team focused.
While it may have sounded nice in theory, Milford was less than crisp as they returned to action this past Monday, hosting highly regarded Smyrna. It was a game that witnessed a whole lot of things go wrong for Milford culminating in a 12-5 defeat, in a game that saw the Buccaneers commit a season high eight errors. It was the type of game last season that Milford turned in regularly, that was last season however.
This year’s Milford squad embraced the opportunity to get back on the field and back in the win column. First up on the docket for the Bucs was a road trip to Indian River. The host Indians came into the game with a 2-0 record in the Henlopen South, so a victory for Milford was important. The Buccaneers responded with an 8-2 victory. The win came as a result of the game plan which Milford has tried to incorporate all season. Jump on top early and let the pitching and defense do the rest. With three runs in the first, Milford was able to stake senior Cole Davis to the early lead Milford loves to have. Going five solid innings and striking out seven, Davis earned the victory with relief from junior Holden Bailey.
On Saturday Milford faced another tough test as they hosted Sussex Central. The visiting Golden Knights came in with a 4-3 record and are considered to be a team that could reach the State Tournament. With less than 24 hours between games, Brannan handed the ball to senior Dustin Reeder believing that he could get the job done for Milford. Reeder rewarded his coaches faith, by tossing six solid innings.
While Milford would end up earning an 8-3 victory, there was nothing easy about it. All game long, every time it looked as if Milford would assert control, something would go wrong. With a 1-0 lead in the the third inning, it looked as if Milford had doubled it, only to have the run taken off the board courtesy of a questionable call by the umpires. Then with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, controversy struck again as a Central batter was ruled to have been hit by a pitch. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Reeder found himself facing a bases loaded situation.
“I was always taught that baseball was just a game, so I just stepped back from the mound and smiled,” Reeder said. “I think against Smyrna I was a little too tense, in this game I just came out and had some fun.” With the relaxed approach, Reeder was able to get the innings final out.
Reeder’s fifth inning work was far from complete however, as he came to bat in the bottom of the inning and runners on first and third. Reeder responded with a two run triple over the center fielders head, keying what would be a six run fifth inning.
The victory moved Milford to 6-1 for the season and bodes well going forward. It was a game full of challenges and the type of game that Milford would have easily given away last year .“This team right now has as many wins as we did all of last year and these boys have earned every bit of them.” Brannan stated. “I’m telling you, there’s more to come.”
Milford will host Polytech this Tuesday, April 21 at 4:15pm.