After missing 2018’s postseason, starting 2019 right was paramount for the Milford Buccaneers.
The Bucs have opened winning their first four games.
“Going into the season we have been blessed with balance throughout our roster,” said head coach Nick Brannan. “We have a strong group of seniors we hope will continue to show leadership along with a strong freshman class of potential contributors.”
So far, everyone has pulled their weight with several important conference victories. Through the four games, the Bucs have tallied divisional wins over Woodbridge and Lake Forest, along with huge conference wins over Henlopen North teams Caesar Rodney and defending state champion, Cape Henlopen.
Team balance is showing up in the box scores. Milford’s pitching has been solid, led by Chad Reichhold and Brock Hilligoss and the offensive support has been there, with several effective players at the plate.
“We look for Brock, Chad and Dylan Layton to lead us on the mound,” Brannan said. “Brock and Chad look to build off last year’s success which ended with both of them named Henlopen South First Team pitchers.”
Reichhold and Hilligoss have accounted Milford’s four wins. Reichhold earned the opening day win over Caesar Rodney, and Hilligoss came in relief in the fifth to earn the save; the two combined for nine strikeouts in the win. Against Woodbridge, Layton got the start, relieved by Hilligoss who earned the win and Reichhold who got the save in a 7-4 win.
In a 6-5 extra-innings victory over Cape Henlopen, Layton came in relief of Hilligoss late, keeping Cape off the board before Reichhold came into the game in the 8th to earn the win.
Against Lake Forest, Reichhold earned his third win, pitching five strong innings while striking out six.
Reichhold and Layton have also contributed with the bat; Layton had two hits against Cape, and Reichhold broke a 4-4 tie against Woodbridge with an RBI single, added two hits against Cape along with a solo homerun and a two-run double in the win over Lake Forest.
Aydin Zimmerman has helped on offense, finishing with three hits and three RBI against CR before knocking in three more runs against Cape. That included driving in the winning run in the bottom of the 8th after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“We feel confident that any player on our roster could step to the plate and provide a spark with the way we have been competing,” Brannan said.
The Bucs hope to keep their winning ways going Thursday afternoon when they travel to take on Sussex Tech at 4:15 p.m.