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Baseball Looks To Stay Atop League Standings With Full Slate Of ECC Games

Posted on: April 23, 2016
Tags: Ecc, Baseball

SETTING THE SCENE: The Milford High School baseball team, right in the thick of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference race faces a four-game league slate in the coming week as the Eagles battle for a fifth straight league crown. MHS will start the week with back-to-back meetings with Turpin, before a home-and-home set with Withrow. The Saturday Withrow contest will be a part of the Cincinnati Reds Futures Showcase at Roselawn Park.

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

  • Monday, April 25 at Turpin, 4:30 p.m. & Tuesday, April 26 vs. Turpin, 4:30 p.m. (resumption of suspended game from April 22; game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning)
    • 2016 Record: 3-11, 0-7 ECC (NR Division I area coaches’ preseason poll)
    • Top Hitter: Sophomore Jake Silverstein (.380/0 XBH/5 RBI/4 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Junior Drew Sesler (2.94 ERA/0-1 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 10, Turpin 0 & Milford 3, Turpin 0
  • Wednesday, April 27 vs. Withrow, 4:30 p.m. & Saturday, April 30, 4:00 p.m. (at Roselawn Park)
    • 2016 Record: 1-13, 0-9 ECC (NR Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Dedrick Hill (.429/0 XBH/4 RBI/10 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Sophomore Keyandre Davis (6.75 ERA/0-2 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2015; Milford 16, Withrow 0, Milford 8, Withrow 0 & Milford 16, Withrow 0

LOOK BACK: April 18 at Glen Este: Milford improved to 6-0 in Eastern Cincinnati Conference play with a 13-1 win at Glen Este on April 18. The Eagles flexed their muscle early scoring six runs in the first two innings to build an insurmountable margin. Milford turned the game into a route with three more runs in the fourth and fourth in the sixth. Junior Sam Dobrowolski paced the offense, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Classmate Keith Carter added a pair of doubles and three RBI, while Matt Kirk had two hits, scored twice and drove in two. Kyle Music was solid on the mound over five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. 

April 19 vs. Loveland: The second battle between No. 1 Milford and No. 2 Loveland went the way of the visiting Tigers by an 8-5 score on April 19. The two squads matched runs through three innings, before Loveland went up 4-3 in the fifth and stretched the edge to 8-3 after six. Sam Dobrowolski got the Eagles one run closer with an RBI double in the seventh, with the Eagles adding a second run on a Loveland wild pitch. With just one out, Milford managed to load the bases before Loveland’s Jay Wilson got the final two outs to strand the tying run at first. Junior Matt Kirk paced the offense with three hits, while Wes Reid and Hayden Sluder added two apiece. 

April 20 vs. Glen Este: Senior Kyle Ruehlman spun a three-hit shutout, while the Milford offense pounded out 15 hits as the Eagles routed Glen Este by a 12-0 score on April 20. The Eagles got the ball rolling early with a five-run first inning, before tacking on two more in the second. By game’s end, Brad Hall, Sam Dobrowolski and Matt Kirk each had three hits, while combining for eight runs and six RBI. 

April 23 at Moeller: Milford picked up a huge non-conference victory over the defending Division I State Champions from Moeller by a 3-2 score on April 23. After getting touched for two runs in the second, senior pitcher Nathan Kroger held the Crusaders without a hit over the final five innings, finishing the game with five strikeouts. With the bases loaded in the second, Kroger benefited from a triple play turned by Brad Hall and Nate Liles. Trailing 2-1 after three, Milford secured the win with a Hayden Sluder RBI single in the fourth and a Matt Kirk run scoring groundout in the fourth.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders through 15 games:

Batting Average: Wes Reid (.571), Sam Dobrowolski (.528), Brad Hall (.392)

Slugging Percentage: Brad Hall (.804), Wes Reid (.796), Sam Dobrowolski (.694)

On Base Percentage: Sam Dobrowolski (.646), Wes Reid (.639), Chase Witte (.490)

Runs Scored: Brad Hall/Wes Reid (21), Chase Witte (17)

Hits: Wes Reid (28), Brad Hall (20), Sam Dobrowolski (19)

RBI: Brad Hall (22), Keith Carter (19), Matt Kirk (17)

Doubles: Three Tied (6)

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

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

Walks: Sam Dobrowolski (10), Three Tied (9)

Stolen Bases: Brad Hall/Chase Witte (5), Wes Reid (4)

Wins: Kyle Ruehlman (4), Nathan Kroger (3), Three Tied (2)

Saves: Four Tied (1)

ERA: Nathan Kroger (1.69), Kyle Ruehlman (1.96), Tyler Smith (2.77)

Innings: Kyle Ruehlman (23.0), Nathan Kroger (21.1), Two Tied (13.0)

Opponents Batting Average: Kyle Music (.178), Nathan Kroger (.195), Kyle Ruehlman (.216)

Strikeouts: Nathan Kroger (22), Kyle Ruehlman (21), Kyle Music (15)

INSIDE THE ECC: The ECC Championship battle has become a three horse race with a trio of squads all within one in the loss column. Loveland and Milford, by virtue of a season split, are at the top with one loss each, with Kings sitting just one game behind. The schedule of ECC conference games this week includes: Monday-Milford at Turpin, Anderson at Glen Este, Walnut Hills at Withrow, Loveland at Kings; Tuesday-Turpin at Milford, Glen Este at Anderson; Wednesday-Turpin at Glen Este, Withrow at Milford, Loveland at Anderson, Walnut Hills at Kings; Friday-Glen Este at Turpin, Kings at Walnut Hills, Anderson at Loveland; Saturday-Anderson at Turpin, Milford at Withrow.

POLL WATCH: With five victories last week, including a win over second ranked Loveland, Milford is the new No. 1 team in the city, according to the area’s Division I coaches in their weekly rankings compiled by the Cincinnati Enquirer and released on April 18. The Eagles earned 14 first place votes and were one of six squads to earn at least one top vote. Loveland remains No. 2 with a single first place vote, with Mason (two votes), Moeller (four votes) and LaSalle (two votes) rounding out the top-five. Sixth-ranked Fairfield earned the final No. 1 vote, with the ECC being represented by Kings, Anderson and Glen Este in the others receiving votes section. The coaches’ poll is released every Monday at Noon at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls

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.