The Milford High School JV baseball team notched an unbeaten season this year, and it was no accident.
Playing JV ball is about more than winning and losing. It’s about honing young players’ skills, and training them to face the top level of high-school competition. Coaches often say that whether a junior team wins or loses isn’t nearly as important as whether or not the players are learning the game and raising their talents.
For this year’s Bucs, there was no need to choose. Perfection followed perfection.
The Milford High School JV baseball team dominated their opposition on the way to a 16-0 record, capped off with a 12-2 blowout of Red Lion Christian School in the season’s final game.
“I’ve never seen a team play this solid all year the way these guys did,” Head Coach Tim Fisher said. “It was exciting for the kids. They worked hard, they deserved it. To finally get that last win was huge.”
Milford out-hit, out-pitched and out-fielded their rivals in nearly every game.
“We were a very relaxed team, so we hit the ball well,” Fisher said. “And once they got on base, pretty much every kid in our lineup could steal. I know for a fact nobody in the conference had more stolen bases than we did. I’ve never seen a team play this solid all year the way these guys did.”
Starting pitchers Garrett Coverdale and Phillip Berry didn’t mow down hitters with fastballs, but they rarely let a game get out of control.
“Our pitching was just consistent,” Fisher said. “It wasn’t overpowering but they were always working in good counts, always getting ahead of the batters. The few times we did get in trouble, our defense was right there to bail them out.”
Most of the Bucs’ wins were lopsided, ended by the slaughter rule when Milford led by 10 or more after five innings. But make no mistake, they had to work for that perfect record.
“We never gave up,” shortstop Vance Daniels said. “Even in our toughest game, against CR, we were down for the first innings and right around the middle of the fifth we got it together and started hitting. We knew we always had it in us to win a game.”
No team came closer to ending Milford’s perfect run than Sussex Central, who had the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Coverdale came in as a relief pitcher and got three straight outs to preserve the 7-5 win.
“It all started with pitching,” Daniels said. “It always does.”