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Baseball Adds Two Regular Season Games Leading Up To Sectional Finals

Posted on: May 15, 2016

SETTING THE SCENE: With a week to prepare for the OHSAA Sectional Finals, the Milford High School baseball team has added a pair of games to its schedule for this week in an effort to stay sharp. After rain caused multiple cancellations this spring, the Eagles have the opportunity to add games based on the number allotted by the OHSAA. Standing at 23-2 overall, the Eagles will host both Madeira and Clinton-Massie in the coming days, leading up to Thursday’s sectional final against Lakota East. Tuesday’s contest against Clinton-Massie will serve as Milford’s rescheduled Senior Day celebration.

A LOOK AT THE OPPONENT: A look at Milford’s schedule for the upcoming week:

  • Monday, May 16 vs. Madeira, 4:30 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 12-12, 6-7 CHL (RV Division II-IV area coaches’ final weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Henry Kahn (.431/5 XBH/16 RBI/14 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Senior Jake Megois (0.66 ERA/3-1 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 8, Madeira 3
  • Tuesday, May 17 vs. Clinton-Massie, 5:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: N/A
    • Top Hitter: N/A
    • Top Pitcher: N/A
    • Last Meeting: N/A

A LOOK BACK: May 12 vs. Walnut Hills: Senior Kyle Ruehlman twirled a four-hit shutout, helping the Eagles complete a three-game season sweep of conference rival Walnut Hills by a 2-0 score on May 12 in the second round of the OHSAA Sectional Tournament. 

Ruehlman, who improved to 7-1 on the season with the win, struck out eight on the day in his third shutout of the year. The Eagles plated single runs in both the first and third innings to give Ruehlman all the run support he would need. Matt Kirk put the Eagles up 1-0 in the first with an RBI single, before Wes Reid raced home on a wild pitch in the third to make it a 2-0 game.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders through 26 games:

Batting Average: Wes Reid (.488), Sam Dobrowolski (.460), Brad Hall (.420)

Slugging Percentage: Brad Hall (.691), Wes Reid (.659), Sam Dobrowolski (.619)

On Base Percentage: Sam Dobrowolski (.575), Wes Reid (.561), Brad Hall (.467)

Runs Scored: Wes Reid (34), Brad Hall (31), Chase Witte (24)

Hits: Wes Reid (40), Brad Hall (34), Keith Carter (30)

RBI: Keith Carter (34), Brad Hall (31), Sam Dobrowolski (26)

Doubles: Keith Carter (14), Matt Kirk (11), Wes Reid (9)

Triples: Brad Hall (4), Four Tied (1)

Home Runs: Brad Hall (3), Sam Dobrowolski/Wes Reid (1)

Walks: Ben Hunter (16), Sam Dobrowolski (15), Wes Reid (13)

Stolen Bases: Brad Hall (14), Chase Witte (7), Evan Baugh/Wes Reid (6)

Wins: Kyle Ruehlman (7), Kyle Music (5), Nathan Kroger (3)

Saves: Tyler Smith (2), Four Tied (1)

ERA: Kyle Music (1.73), Kyle Ruehlman (1.76), Nathan Kroger (1.98)

Innings: Kyle Ruehlman (46.0), Nathan Kroger (27.1), Kyle Music (26.0)

Opponents Batting Average: Kyle Music (.165), Nathan Kroger (.184), Kyle Ruehlman (.186)

Strikeouts: Kyle Ruehlman (46), Kyle Music (29), Nathan Kroger (28)

INSIDE THE ECC: Loveland closed out its first-ever Eastern Cincinnati Conference baseball championship last week, but Milford can still earn a share of the crown with a win on Monday against Withrow in a game that has twice been rained out. Milford is in search of its fifth straight shared or outright conference title. 

The schedule for ECC teams still alive in the tournament includes: No. 1 Milford vs. No. 7 Lakota East (May 19, 5:00 p.m. at Harrison), No. 2 Loveland vs. No. 8 Mason (May 19, 5:00 p.m. at Lebanon), No. 12 Kings vs. No. 3 LaSalle (May 19, 5:00 p.m. at Elder Sports Complex).

POLL WATCH: For the first time since 2003, Milford has been crowned the No. 1 team in the city according to the final coaches’ poll, sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer and released on May 2. The Eagles were the top team on the ballot of 15 of the 19 voting coaches and received 33 more points than fellow ECC member and second place finisher Loveland (one vote). LaSalle and Fairfield also earned No. 1 nods and were joined in the top-five by Lakota East. Kings also represented the ECC in the others receiving votes category. The final coaches’ poll can be viewed at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls

The final Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association state poll was released on May 12 and the Eagles finished third in the state according to the rankings. The Eagles trailed only Jackson and Springboro in the OHSBCA poll. Other area teams in the top-20 include Moeller (9th), Loveland (10th) and Mason (11th).

CHAMPIONSHIP TALK: With its regular-season closing win against Withrow on May 9, the Eagles staked their claim to a share of the 2016 Eastern Cincinnati Conference Championship, joining Loveland as co-champions. The crown extends Milford’s streak of consecutive years winning a share of or outright conference championship to five and is the Eagles seventh conference title in the last nine years.

PSEUDO CHAMPS: The Eagles completed a rare accomplishment on May 6 with its 6-4 win at Elder. The victory gave Milford wins over all four member of the Greater Catholic League South Division. MHS opened the season with a 1-0 win over LaSalle on March 26, before knocking off Moeller (3-2) on April 23 and St. Xavier (4-2) on May 3.

A VICTORY TO REMEMBER: Veteran Milford head coach Tom Kilgore reached a coaching milestone on April 15 as he picked up his 300th victory as the Eagles’ skipper. The victory came in dramatic fashion as Milford overcame a four-run deficit in the top of the seventh inning against Walnut Hills, rallying for seven runs en route to an 8-5 victory. Kilgore, who has been Milford’s head coach since 1999, has led the Eagles to eight conference championships and two state runner-up finishes during his tenure. He has earned conference coach of the year accolades seven times during his career.

ONE CLOSE CALL: Senior pitcher Nathan Kroger went from a bases loaded, no-out jam to the dugout with just one pitch during the second inning of the April 23 win over Moeller, thanks to the help of his defense. Senior first baseman Brad Hall snagged a line drive off the bat of Moeller’s Tyler McDonough, stepped on first for the second out and then quickly fired across the diamond to third baseman Nate Liles to complete the triple play.

NO-HIT HEROES: The duo of sophomore Kyle Music and junior Tyler Smith combined to pitch a six inning no-hitter as the Eagles picked up an 11-0 win at New Richmond on April 14. Music hurled the first five hitless innings, allowing just one walk and striking out eight, while Smith pitched a hitless sixth to wrap up the feat. It marks the first no-hitter at Milford since Justin Arnold twirled a perfect game against Turpin last season.

COLLEGE BOUND EAGLES: A trio of senior members of the 2016 Eagles’ roster have announced their intention to continue their athletic and academic careers on the collegiate level. Lance Fleischman will attend Wilmington College, while Ben Hunter will head to Northwest Nazarene University and Kyle Ruehlman will attend Sinclair Community College.