By Dave McCallum
Family and friends gathered in the Milford High School Library on November 20 to be a part of Buccaneer baseball standout Chad Reichhold announcing that he would play his college ball at the University of Delaware – just an hour or so up Route 1 in Newark.
Reichhold had originally committed to Wake Forest in November 2017. After decommitting from Wake, he committed to the Blue Hens on August 8 this year. He officially signed with UD of the Colonial Athletic Association on November 13.
“I think I made the decision to go to Wake Forest at a young age, and over time, I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me anymore,” he said. “UD has always been a no-brainer. And to be able to get in touch with their coaching staff (after decommitting from Wake Forest) and see how great their coaching staff and the team as a whole is. I know a lot of guys up there, and I know it’s going to be like family there. I am blessed to have the opportunity to play there.”
“I’m going to work as hard as I can to be a good asset early on. Just work hard this off-season and in the summer leading up to playing for them (Delaware), and hopefully get good playing time for them early in my career.”
UD baseball coach Jim Sherman is happy to have the hard-throwing righthander in the Blue Hen fold.
“We knew that he had verbally committed early to Wake Forest, but once he decommitted from Wake we wanted to get him and his dad up for a visit,” he said. “We wanted to target him because we felt he was one of the top pitchers in the state.
“Our pitching coach (Juan Pimentel) thought he was a perfect match for us. We think Chad has every capability of contributing as a freshman.”
When MHS baseball coach Nick Brannan talks about Reichhold, it sounds more like a father-son relationship than as coach-player.
“You’re not supposed to have favorite players, but being a coach for nine years, you get closer to some than others and Chad is one of those kids,” Brannan said. “It’s not because of ability. It’s the personal connections. We can talk about spirituality, talk about future goals … He has a good heart, he’s a good person. He needs to dedicate himself to the things Mr. (Don) Parsley (MHS teacher and wrestling coach) was talking about a little bit more because at the end of the day your physical talents will end, and your character and academic work will be what carries you through the rest of your life.”
Reichhold said he doesn’t have words for what Brannan said.
“Coach Brannan has been like a second dad to me. He’s been more than just a baseball coach or a teacher. He’s been a friend, a great person who has taught me a lot of lessons at Milford High School and years prior to that.”
When asked about the biggest influence on getting him to this point, he replied, “Definitely my family. They’ve had my back through it all since day one when I was out there on the T-Ball field, taking me to practices and games, and out there supporting me. Without them, I wouldn’t know what kind of person I would be today.”
Heading into his senior season, Reichhold is a three-year starter for the Buccaneers and been named to the all-conference team as a pitcher all three years. The 6-foot, 4-inch righty has compiled 12 victories in those three seasons.
When not pitching, Reichhold plays first base for the Buccaneers where he batted .286 with four doubles and one home run last season as a junior.
In addition to his high school accolades, Reichhold been part of a summer league team the last three years that has participated in the prestigious Carpenter Cup, which involves teams from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. All of those teams have reached the final stages at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
“Chad is what we want, I would say, our standard to be for our program in terms of the two-way player. He’s going to pitch at UD, but he’s also a very good hitter,” Brannan said. “Contributing on both sides of the game really makes him invaluable. Being a good person is what separates him from the average kid. As I said, he has a good heart and means well, and those things coupled with athletic ability make for a good person. He’s just a joy to coach.”
Brannan doesn’t think Reichhold signing early will affect how he plays this season. In fact, he thinks it will make it a better year.
“This allows him to enjoy his senior season without the stress that comes with the uncertainty about where you will play,” Brannan said. “Confidence goes a long way in terms of stability, like now he can just focus on baseball.”
Reichhold agrees with his coach.
“I think this year would be no different than if I had signed or not signed (early),” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and compete, and I’m going to work as hard as I can.”
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