By Kevin Eickman
Coming off of their unpleasant 2014 season, the Milford Buccaneers had a lot of goals. The previous year had left such a bad taste in their mouths, they could not get to 2015 soon enough. Speaking with the coaches and players prior to the start of the season, they knew that they had better baseball in them than they had demonstrated last season. Speaking with senior Cole Davis back in March, there was little doubt this would be a team on a mission.
“Everything that went wrong last year, we remember,” Davis said at the time. “We know that we are so much better than what we showed, I promise that won’t happen again.”
The words of Davis would prove prophetic this past season as the Buccaneers would finish the season with an 11-7 record, while winning the Henlopen South championship. The Buccaneers suffered a first round tournament exit at the hands of top seeded Saint Mark’s, but the 7-3 defeat did little to dampen the positive attitude that coach Nick Brannan felt about this years squad.
“What a great season for our guys, they really played up to their potential this season,” Brannan stated. “Following last season and the way we got down on ourselves, this year when we faced adversity, we didn’t let it bring us down.”
The adversity that Brannan was referring to was a stretch in the middle of the season that saw the Buccaneers battle three consecutive tournament teams. Milford would lose a pair of one run games. First to Saint Georges 1-0, then to Dover 4-3, in 12 innings, before they were pounced on by State title runners up Cape Henlopen 14-4. The season was on the brink at that point, but this was a team that showed their character when it mattered. Just a week after the loss to Cape, Milford had to travel to Harrington to battle Lake Forest in the “Battle of the Bat.” There was a lot more at stake then bragging rights as the winner would have the inside track to the South, Milford responded with an 11-1 win “ With all that had gone wrong the previous two weeks, they didn’t make any excuses.” Brannan continued “That game was so important to us, it showed what kind of hear this team has.”
Huge for the Buccaneers this season was the pitching of Davis and fellow senior Dustin Reeder, who combined for 10 of the Buccaneers victories. “I can’t believe to tell you how much those guys meant to us, they answered the call all season long,” said Brannan. “Those guys put up a lot of innings for us this year.”
Besides pitching there were some other seniors who played a big part for the Buccaneers, in particular Tommy Jordan and Tommy Saxon. “Those guys were huge for us this year, they always seemed to be there when we need them the most,” Brannan commented. “It didn’t matter if it was a big hit or a play on defense, those guys were always there.”
Looking forward to next season, there are some players that improved over the season that Brannan will be looking to lead next year. One of them is sophomore Abraham Mow. “Abe started the season as the number seven hitter and by the end of the year is was second in the order. That shows just how much he improved as the year went on,” Brannan stated.
Another player to keep an eye out for is freshman Bryce Greenly who gained more playing time as the season went on. “The experience he gained this past season, will only serve to make him a better player going forward,” Brannan said.