By Kevin Eickman
While getting in the DIAA State Tournament was the goal, now that they are in, the Milford Buccaneers are trying to make some noise. Getting in with the number 20 seed, Milford has squared off in the first round against Red Lion Christian Academy. While the game started on Monday, it did not finish until today, when the game will be continued at Dover High School. The game was suspended in the in the top of the 10th with the teams knotted at five runs apiece.
“It has been a wild season, so this just fits right in with how everything has gone,” coach Nick Brannan stated. “We’re still alive and we still have a chance to win. That is all that you can ask for this time of year.”
The winner of the resumed game will have little time to rest as they will face number four seeded Dover at 4pm.
How the South Was Won
In the just concluded regular season, the Milford Buccaneers knew just one thing for sure. If they could just beat a 3-12 Indian River team and follow that up with a victory at 4-11 Woodbridge, they would lock up the Henlopen South Championship and the tournament birth that goes with it. With a brutal loss to Indian River on Monday however, their fate was no longer in their own hands when it came to winning the Henlopen South.
With a win on Woodbridge on Wednesday, Milford’s only hope to win the South came in the slim hope that a 2-12 Seaford team, could somehow find a way to take down the Delmar Wildcats in the final game of the season. The Buccaneers also could have gained an at large bid, by defeating number one ranked Saint Marks. Milford would fall to Saint Marks 3-0, leaving their only path to the playoffs in the hands of Seaford.
On paper it looked like a mismatch, there was no reason to believe that the Blue Jays would be able to overcome a season of futility. No reason to believe that Seaford could pull of the improbable and defeat the Wildcats. Funny things can happen on a baseball diamond however and that is just what developed on Friday afternoon. Seaford would bat around in the bottom of the second inning, opening up an 8-1 advantage in what seemed like the blink of an eye. While there was a lot of time to go, it was a deep hole to attempt to climb out of.
With Seaford junior Dylan Allen looking very tough to hit early on, Delmar had their work cut out for them. With the Seaford offense remaining hot as well, the Blue Jays would take an 11-2 lead into the top of the sixth inning. It was there that Allen began to wear down, allowing a bear of runs with the help of a Seaford defensive miscue. Trailing 11-4 in the final inning, Delmar was finally able to chase Allen from the game. Seaford junior Justin Gray would inherit a bases loaded situation, with nobody out. He got the first out on a fielder’s choice, while giving up a run. Delmar would clock a two run double before Gray would settle down and get the next two batters with the last out coming on a strikeout.
On the list of possibilities, a Seaford victory may have been last on the list likely to occur. In the end however, that was just what occurred as Milford would earn the Henlopen South title with a 9-9 record. It may not have been pretty, it may not have been easy, but it was a championship none the less “In the end it doesn’t matter how you get in, just as long as you get in,” Brannan said. “Now that we are in, we’re going to give it our best and see what happens.”
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