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Baseball Closes In On Conference Title In Regular Season’s Final Week

Posted on: May 1, 2016
Tags: Baseball, Ecc crown

SETTING THE SCENE: Seeking a fifth straight conference championship, the Milford High School baseball team will play out the final week of the regular season in the coming days with six games in six days. The Eagles enter the week with a 17-1 record and a one game lead in the league standings. With three of the week’s six contests inside the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, the Eagles still have work to do to wrap up the crown.

THE UPCOMING DOCKET: A look at Milford’s schedule for the upcoming week:

  • Monday, May 2 vs. Kings, 4:30 p.m. & Wednesday, May 4 at Kings, 4:30 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 13-8, 9-3 ECC (RV Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Nathan Gambill (.451/5 XBH/19 RBI/3 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Senior Bryson Lonsbury (1.98 ERA/5-0 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 7, Kings 2 & Milford 3, Kings 0
  • Tuesday, May 3 vs. St. Xavier, 5:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 10-9, 3-4 GCL (RV Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Brent Bender (.417/4 XBH/9 RBI/1 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Junior Sam Kendall (0.97 ERA/2-3 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2011; St. Xavier 17, Milford 5
  • Thursday, May 5 vs. Hillsboro, 5:00 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: N/A
    • Top Hitter: N/A
    • Top Pitcher: N/A
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 10, Hillsboro 2
  • Friday, May 6 at Withrow, 4:30 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 2-15, 0-11 ECC (NR Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Dedrick Hill (.485/1 XBH/7 RBI/13 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Sophomore Keyandre Davis (4.27 ERA/1-2 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2016; Milford 11, Withrow 1
  • Saturday, May 7 at Conner, 11:00 a.m.
    • 2016 Record: 15-4, 1-2 NKAC (4th Northern Kentucky area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: N/A
    • Top Pitcher: N/A
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 10, Conner 7

LOOK April 25 at Turpin: Milford exploded for six runs in the third inning and six more in the fifth, running away from Turpin by a 14-0 score in a five-inning game on April 25. Senior hurler Kyle Ruehlman tossed a one-hit shutout with five strikeouts to earn his conference-leading fifth win of the year. The Eagles pounded out 14 hits on the day and took advantage of 11 walks issued by Spartan pitching. Six of Milford’s nine starting hitters had two hits, with four scoring at least two runs and three knocking in a pair. Keith Carter and Matt Kirk each had a pair of doubles in the win. 

April 26 vs. Turpin: The Eagles scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, knocking off Turpin for the second time in as many days by a 4-1 score on April 26. Kyle Music yielded just one unearned run and three hits, while fanning seven. Keith Carter got the Eagles on the board with an RBI double, while Hayden Sluder, Matt Kirk and Brad Hall each delivered run-scoring singles in the big inning. The hits by Kirk and Hall were part of two hit days for each player. 

April 28 vs. Withrow: Milford picked up its 17th victory of the season, scoring seven runs in the fourth inning to pull away from Withrow by an 11-1 score on April 28. Brad Hall had a big day at the plate and on the bases, picking up three hits, scoring twice and stealing three bases. Hall’s three steals were part of an 11 stolen base performance for the Eagles. Keith Carter drove in four runs at the plate, while Chase Witte went 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI and two stolen bases. On the mound, Lance Fleischman and Tyler Smith combined to allow just six hits with eight strikeouts.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders through 18 games:

Batting Average: Wes Reid (.525), Sam Dobrowolski (.524), Brad Hall (.433)

Slugging Percentage: Brad Hall (.783), Wes Reid (.729), Sam Dobrowolski (.667)

On Base Percentage: Sam Dobrowolski (.643), Wes Reid (.603), Chase Witte (.500)

Runs Scored: Wes Reid (25), Brad Hall (24), Chase Witte (23)

Hits: Wes Reid (31), Brad Hall (26), Sam Dobrowolski (22)

RBI: Keith Carter (26), Brad Hall (25), Matt Kirk (20)

Doubles: Keith Carter/Matt Kirk (9), Wes Reid (7)

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

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

Walks: Sam Dobrowolski (12), Four Tied (11)

Stolen Bases: Brad Hall (10), Chase Witte (7), Evan Baugh (6)

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

Saves: Four Tied (1)

ERA: Kyle Ruehlman (1.61), Nathan Kroger (1.69), Kyle Music (2.37)

Innings: Kyle Ruehlman (28.0), Nathan Kroger (21.1), Kyle Music (19.0)

Opponents Batting Average: Kyle Music (.169), Kyle Ruehlman (.194), Nathan Kroger (.195)

Strikeouts: Kyle Ruehlman (26), Nathan Kroger/Kyle Music (22)

INSIDE THE ECC: The Eagles will try to close out a fifth consecutive league championship this week in the final week of the regular season. Milford starts the week with the advantage at 10-1 overall, with Loveland (9-2) and Kings (9-3) both still alive in the title hunt. The schedule of ECC conference games this week includes: Monday-Turpin at Withrow, Glen Este at Loveland, Anderson at Walnut Hills, Kings at Milford; Tuesday-Glen Este at Anderson; Wednesday-Withrow at Turpin, Loveland at Glen Este, Walnut Hills at Anderson, Milford at Kings; Thursday-Loveland at Anderson; Friday-Milford at Withrow.

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 first of four Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association state polls was released on April 27 and the Eagles open the ratings as the state’s No. 4 ranked team. The Eagles trail only Butler, Jackson and Hilliard Darby in the OHSBCA poll. Other area teams in the top-20 include Loveland (9th), Moeller (11th), LaSalle (T-16th), Lakota East (19th) and Mason (T-20th).

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 pair of senior members of the 2016 Eagles’ roster have already announced their intention to continue their athletic and academic careers on the collegiate level. Lance Fleischman will attend will attend Wilmington College, while Kyle Ruehlman will attend Sinclair Community College.