By Kevin Eickman
Last year it would have been different, last year the Milford baseball team would have just packed it in and ask themselves why it was happening to them. That was last year. After a 6-1 start to the season, it looked as if things might be easy for the Bucs this year. Unfortunately for Milford things are never easy when it comes to playing baseball in the Henlopen conference.
Heading into last Thursday’s home game against Woodbridge, Milford had dropped four in a row. What made it worse was that two of those games were one run losses against; 10-2 Dover and 10-4 Saint George’s. Both games that Milford could just as easily won. “You play some of the best ball you have played all season and you still don’t come out on the winning end, its tough,” coach Nick Brannan stated. “So the kids definitely deserve to enjoy what happened to them today.”
While a 12-2 five inning victory might seem easy, this win was anything but. Milford held a 3-0 lead as the teams headed to the top of the fourth inning. Senior Dustin Reeder was beginning to wear down, thanks to a nine inning effort on Saturday against Dover so junior Holden Bailey was brought in to pitch. Holden struggled with control, hitting two batters, one with the bases full, allowing the visiting Blue Raiders to close the gap to a single run.
Milford knew that losing this game was not an option, they knew that this was a game they had to win if they are to make a serious run in the playoffs. Milford responded with an offensive barrage in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring nine runs and earning the victory in the process. The inning featured timely hitting and quality at bats from everyone in the lineup. The highlight of the inning came courtesy of a bases clearing triple from senior Tom Saxon. “We’ve got to get a streak going again.” Saxon shared after the game.
Saxon was not the only Buccaneer to have a big day at the plate as junior Philip Huber had four hits in the game while driving in three runs. “The ball was looking real big today and I was looking to go the other way with it,” Huber said. “We’ve got to make this push for the playoffs.”
While the win was big, there is a lot of work to be done if Milford is going to make the State Tournament. When asked what kind of effect the losing streak might have had on the Buccaneers, Brannan believes his squad will turn it into a positive. “[Milford] saw that we were able to stand toe to toe with two of the best programs in the state and a hit here a break there, we are two wins plus int the win column.” Brannan stated.
Standing at 7-5, Milford will travel to Harrington this Tuesday as they battle 7-5 Lake Forest under the lights. First pitch is scheduled for 7 pm.