Reichhold belts seventh-inning grand slam in one-run loss to Cape

LEWES – So far this spring, Milford High’s young baseball program has experienced a few bumps in the road early into the 2018 schedule.

But Friday, April 6, things started to look up for the Milford Bucs, who nearly pulled off an impressive upset of nationally-ranked Cape Henlopen High.

Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, sophomore Chad Reichhold sent a Jake Gelof pitch over the outfield fence for a grand slam home run. The homer put the Bucs ahead 7-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Junior Caden Stanley tosses a pitch during his relief appearance in the seventh inning Friday afternoon (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

“I came up in the at-bat before and I knew what I had in me,” Reichhold said following the game. “I felt that I had a good idea of what he was going to be throwing to me, got a good sight of it and I saw the pitch that I wanted and just put a good swing on it.”

In the end, a three-run homer for Cape senior Zach Dale knotted the game 7-7 and a solo home run from senior Zach Savage in the following at-bat gave the Vikings the 8-7 victory in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“Our team showed a lot of grit today,” head coach Nick Brannan said. “They were up for the challenge and we went out and competed. That was the challenge in front of them, they rose to it and we were a couple of pitches away. All you can ask to do is be in the position we were in, next time maybe we’ll be able to squeeze it out.”

Coming off a pair of double-digit losses to Hodgson and St. George’s Tech earlier in the week, coach Brannan was happy to see his team step things up against a team of Cape’s caliber Friday afternoon.

“It’s a matter of confidence,” he said. “The kids are getting more confident in their abilities. Baseball is rhythm and when you get into a good rhythm some good things are going to happen for you. If anything, this gives us all the confidence we need. Next week we have two conference games, three in all, so we’re going after it. This is what we needed. This is a great thing to happen for us.”

Junior Brock Hilligoss started the game on the mound, pitching a strong 4.1 innings and striking out six batters. Junior Caden Stanley stepped in to throw 1.1 innings of relief.

Sophomore Chad Reichhold, shown here playing third base, belted a key grand slam home run for the Bucs Friday afternoon (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

“Brock was lights out. Caden came in and threw a great, quality relief inning,” coach Brannan explained. “That’s a team that’s solid 1-9, so we didn’t give that game away, Cape did what they were supposed to do.”

“We were more focused than we usually were,” Hilligoss said following the game. “I think we have a better idea of who we are.”

Reichhold finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate with the grand slam, four runs batted in and a pair of runs scored in the game.

Junior Jaxson Turner (1-for-4), Hilligoss (1-for-3) and sophomore Ashton Jerman (1-for-3) each drove in runs for the Bucs as well.

Next up for Milford (1-4) is a Battle of the Bat showdown with rival Lake Forest (0-2) Tuesday, April 10 at 4:15 p.m.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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