Coming off a roller coaster season which saw the Milford Buccaneers eventually emerge as the Henlopen South champs, one of the goals for this year’s squad is to increase their consistency. In order to do that Milford needs to cut down on mental mistakes. Multiple times last year mental breakdowns put the Bucs in difficult situations. That is something coach Nick Brannan would like to see addressed.
“In order for us to be successful we have got to minimize the mental mistakes,” Coach Brannan said. “Physical errors we can live with, but putting ourselves in a bad position and having to dig ourselves out of trouble is something we can’t afford.”
As always, baseball begins with pitching. Last year Brannan was able to roll out a solid pair of senior starters in Cole Davis and Dustin Reeder. With their departure due to graduation, Milford will have to find some replacement arms in a hurry. To start the season, it looks as if the Buccaneers will be going with an all hands on deck approach.
“Putting together a pitching staff is our first priority, we have a lot of innings that we have to replace,” Brannan stated. “We are looking at Holden Bailey (senior) and Abraham Mow (junior) to provide some of those innings.” After that there will be a lot of players that will be looked at to provide innings here or there, junior Mike Robertson, senior Mike Saxon, junior Aaron Thornley and junior Austin Stewart . “We are going to go by committee truthfully,” Brannan commented. “We are going to ask a guy to get their three or six outs, then have the next guy step up and get the job done.”
Milford was solid offensively last season and should be solid again at the plate. “The table setters are going to have to be Tommy Jordan (senior), William Kimmel (junior), Phillip Herber (senior), Shawn Snowden (senior) along with Mow should contribute on offense,” said Brannan. Along with those returning starters, some other players to keep an eye out for are junior Ethan Hurd and senior Dante George.
The Buccaneers will be relying on senior leadership to get them through the rough spots this season. Snowden , Jordan and Herber are players that Brannan believes can provide that leadership. “Snowden and Herber are two great clubhouse guys. While Jordan is one of the smartest players on the field and he makes everyone around him better,” commented Brannan.
Milford should be very strong on defense with Mow and Snowden on the corners, with Jordan anchoring the infield at short. Mow continually improved over the course of last season and Brannan hopes that the improvement continues. “Abraham has been lights out at third, he is really playing very well defensively,” stated Brannan. “His bat is coming along well too, he is right where we want him to be at this point of the year.”
While making the State tournament is always the goal, Brannan is looking for the team to continue to improve as the season goes forward. “We want to develop a good chemistry and just get better from game to game,” Brannan stated. “If we do those things we should be able to qualify for the tournament and make some noise.”
The Buccaneers will begin their season March 22 as they host Caesar Rodney. The first pitch is set for 4:15.