Undefeated Milford baseball readies for difficult stretch

MILFORD — There’s a long way left to go in the season.

But if early indications are correct, Milford High’s baseball team is back to its winning ways.

Senior Cole Davis has a pair of pitching wins this season. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Senior Cole Davis has a pair of pitching wins this season. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

After last season’s disappointing campaign ended with just six wins, this year’s Buccaneers are already 4-0 and show no signs of slowing down once play begins again following spring break.

“We have potential, and I want to try and push as far as we can go,” senior Dustin Reeder said. “Because I know we can go pretty far.”

In Milford’s four victories, which have come against Seaford, Tower Hill, Delmar and North Caroline, the Bucs have outscored their opponents 45-3.

Hard work during the winter and preseason, as well as team cohesion, Reeder said, is what has made the strong start possible.

“We’re one of the hardest working teams I have played on,” Reeder said. “Work ethic and we play as a team instead of for ourselves.”

Reeder and fellow senior Tom Saxon have been leading the way at the dish for Milford this year, but most all of the Bucs have done their part offensively.

Junior Shawn Snowden hit a grand slam in the season-opening win against Seaford, and classmate Phillip Herber’s two-run single in the top of the sixth inning at Tower Hill proved to be the difference maker in that 5-2 victory.

“We’re getting some timely hitting, which didn’t always come (last season) when we needed it,” head coach Nick Brannan said. “And I think we’re riding the momentum of some good luck, but we’ve put ourselves in position to take advantage of that luck.”

As impressive as the Milford bats have been, what has Brannan even happier is the pitching.

Led by Reeder, who has two wins from the bump – one in relief against Tower Hill, the other as a starter versus North Caroline – and senior Cole Davis the staff has given up just three runs this season.

And it has, and will continue to be, a staff effort, as Milford intends to give innings to as many as 10 pitchers this season. Along with the aforementioned duo, the Bucs have sent seniors Cole Attix and Tyler Benton and junior Holden Bailey to the hill already this year.

“There are a lot of things to be encouraged about, especially our pitching,” Brannan said. “The challenge is for (all our pitchers) to treat practice like games. They (our pitchers) have worked so hard and it’s going to come in handy for us because we play four games the week we come back from break. We’re trying to put ourselves in position to not be hurt by that.”

Milford's baseball team is 4-0 entering this week. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Milford’s baseball team is 4-0 entering this week. (Milford Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Of the wins so far, the most satisfying for Milford was likely the 11-1 victory over Delmar. Not only are the Wildcats the defending Henlopen Conference Southern Division champions, but also they had beaten Milford in each of the last three seasons.

“They beat us pretty bad last year, so we really wanted (that) game,” Reeder said of the victory over Delmar. “We want to win the South and maybe even the whole conference, and we definitely have the drive to do so.”

Winning the division and Henlopen Conference means Milford will have to defeat some North teams throughout the year.

When the Bucs return from spring break they play four of those Northern Division squads in an eight-day span.

First up is Monday’s home game against Smyrna and a day later the team travels to Caesar Rodney. Then on the following Friday Milford plays South foe Indian River on the road before coming back home to take on North frontrunner Sussex Central on Saturday. The stretch ends on April 21 when the Buccaneers host North rival Polytech.

“It’s a pivotal part of the year for us,” Brannan said. “We’ve got to make sure we keep rolling through.”

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

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