With rainy weather having forced the annual Battle of the Bat between Milford and Lake Forest to be rescheduled, the Milford Buccaneers baseball team was facing a long day on Saturday. Due to the rescheduling, Milford hosted two games this past Saturday, under cold and cloudy conditions. Playing a pair of games on the same day, this early in the season, can be a real challenge. While Milford may not have won both contests, the fact that they were able to split a pair on such a long and arduous day indicates Milford may just be a team to watch this season.
Hosting Archmere at noon, Milford entered the game sporting a 3-0 record. All three of those wins had come courtesy of late inning heroics, scoring 18 runs in the sixth and seventh innings in all three of the games. Against Archmere, there would be no late inning comeback for Milford. They fell behind early and fizzled at the plate on their way to a 10-1 defeat “Archmere really took it to us in all facets of the game. They gave it to us,” coach Nick Brannan stated.
After dropping the first game, Milford had a brief respite before facing off against Lake Forest. Due to the schedule change, the Buccaneers were designated as the visiting team for the afternoon tilt. Taking the mound for the Bucs would be senior Micheal Robertson, who was handed the opportunity to get Milford back on the winning track. After surrendering a run in the opening frame, Robertson settled down and got to work. Keeping the visiting Spartan hitters off balance, Robertson mixed his pitches and location brilliantly in pitching 4 2/3 innings on 81 pitches.
“Micheal has been great for us in his first to times out and deserved the start today and we have our best defense out there when he is on the mound,” Brannan said “He changes speeds and makes the game go quicker and keeps the defense involved.”
Freshman Chad Reichold finished up on the hill for Milford, offering a sharp contrast to Robertson. The first year Milford product offered great pace on his fastball and was more than adequate on other pitches, as he appeared to become stronger with each pitch.
At the plate, Milford got back on track offensively. After collecting only three hits against Archmere, the Bucs collected a dozen against Lake. Sophomore Caden Stanley had three hits and an RBI in the game, while junior Bryce Greenly, seniors William Kimmel and James Kucharzyk each collected a pair of hits as well.
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The result was a 9-2 victory for Milford, moving them to 4-1 with the season already a quarter over. More importantly for Milford, the quick turnaround did not give them much of a chance to dwell on the poor outing against Archmere. “We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play a second game today.” said Brannan
The victory over Lake moved Milford to 3-0 in Henlopen Conference play and is just the kind of quick start that the Buccaneers had been hoping for. After struggling with consistency last year, Milford looks to have the foundation for what could be an exciting season. “I think playing close games early in the season [and winning] kind of sets the tone and exposes these kids to pressure situations,” Brannan stated. “That’s what you’re going to face in a playoff environment, and truthfully that’s where we want to be.”
Milford will host Laurel on Tuesday and Polytech on Thursday this week. First pitch for both games is set for 4:15.
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