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Baseball Takes Final Shot At Share Of ECC Crown

Posted on: May 8, 2016
Tags: Baseball, Ecc crown

SETTING THE SCENE: After rain wrecked havoc with the end of the regular season last week, the Milford High School baseball team will play two final regular season games leading up to its OHSAA Tournament opener on Thursday. With a win on Monday against Withrow, the Eagles (21-2, 11-2 ECC) can claim a share of a fifth consecutive league championship. Milford will also host Hillsboro on Tuesday before gearing up for the winner of the Walnut Hills-Northwest opening round game on Thursday.

TOURNEY TALK: The Cincinnati-area coaches have voted the Eagles as the No. 1 seed in the Cincinnati sectionals for the upcoming OHSAA Tournament. After receiving an opening round bye, the Eagles will open tournament play on Thursday, May 12, hosting the winner of No. 18 Walnut Hills and No. 30 Northwest. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. Click here for Milford’s sectional bracket. 

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

  • Monday, May 9 vs Withrow, 4:30 p.m.
    • 2016 Record: 2-17, 0-13 ECC (NR Division I area coaches’ weekly poll)
    • Top Hitter: Senior Dedrick Hill (.487/1 XBH/7 RBI/14 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Sophomore Keyandre Davis (4.27 ERA/1-2 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2016; Milford 11, Withrow 1
  • Tuesday, May 10 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
  • Wednesday, May 12 OHSAA Tournament Opener vs. winner of Walnut Hills/Northwest, 5:00 p.m.

 

LOOK BACK: May 2 vs. Kings: Milford suffered just its second loss of the season, falling to Eastern Cincinnati Conference rival Kings by a 3-1 score on May 2. Kings’ hurler Bryson Lonsbury limited the Eagles’ to only five hits, while overcoming a solid outing from Milford ace Kyle Ruehlman. Kings struck first with a run in the top of the second, before tacking on two more in the third. Milford got one back in the bottom of the frame on an Evan Baugh RBI groundout, but couldn’t get any closer in the final four innings. Keith Carter had a pair of hits, including a double for the Eagles, while Ruehlman struck out seven in his first loss of the year. 

May 3 vs. St. Xavier: The Eagles got a stellar pitching performance from starter Evan Baugh as they clipped St. Xavier by a 4-2 score on May 3. Baugh struck out seven Bombers over four innings before turning the game over to the MHS bullpen who allowed just one hit over the final three innings. Keith Carter drew a bases loaded walk in the first before X tied the game in the top of the second. In the bottom of the inning, Milford took advantage of a St. Xavier error for one run, before Sam Dobrowolski made it 3-1 with a run-scoring single. The Bombers got one of the markers back in the fourth, before Matt Kirk closed the scoring with a sixth-inning RBI double. Wes Reid paced the Milford offense, going 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base. 

May 5 at Kings: Milford avenged its loss to Kings from two days earlier with a wild 9-3, eight inning win on May 5. After seeing the Knights tie the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, Milford plated six one half inning later to secure the win. Brad Hall had four hits and four RBI to lead the charge, while Wes Reid went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Hall got the Eagles on the board with a two-run, third inning single, while Ben Hunter plated the third run with a sixth inning RBI base hit. After the Kings’ rally, Milford blasted the game open with Hall’s two-RBI single and a two-run double by Sam Dobrowolski representing the big hits. 

May 6 at Elder: Kyle Ruehlman grabbed his Eastern Cincinnati Conference-best sixth win of the year, helping Milford to a 6-4 win at Elder on May 6. Keith Carter led the Eagles offense with three hits, while Tyler Smith tacked on a pair. 

May 7 at Conner: Kyle Music improved to 4-0 on the season as Milford stretched its win streak to five with a 6-0 win at Conner on May 7. Wes Reid, Brad Hall and Matt Kirk all went 2-for-4 with a double, while Sam Dobrowolski had two hits and two RBI. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders through 21 games:

Batting Average: Wes Reid (.514), Sam Dobrowolski (.490), Brad Hall (.423)

Slugging Percentage: Brad Hall (.718), Wes Reid (.686), Sam Dobrowolski (.627)

On Base Percentage: Sam Dobrowolski (.612), Wes Reid (.588), Brad Hall (.468)

Runs Scored: Wes Reid (29), Brad Hall (26), Chase Witte (23)

Hits: Wes Reid (36), Brad Hall (30), Sam Dobrowolski (25)

RBI: Brad Hall (29), Keith Carter (27), Sam Dobrowolski/Matt Kirk (21)

Doubles: Keith Carter/Matt Kirk (10), Wes Reid (7)

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

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

Walks: Sam Dobrowolski (14), Ben Hunter (13), Nate Liles/Wes Reid (12)

Stolen Bases: Brad Hall (12), Chase Witte (7), Evan Baugh/Wes Reid (6)

Wins: Kyle Ruehlman (5), Kyle Music (4), Nathan Kroger (3)

Saves: Five Tied (1)

ERA: Nathan Kroger (1.98), Kyle Ruehlman/Tyler Smith (2.12)

Innings: Kyle Ruehlman (34.0), Nathan Kroger (27.1), Kyle Music (20.0)

Opponents Batting Average: Kyle Music (.174), Nathan Kroger (.184), Kyle Ruehlman (.198)

Strikeouts: Kyle Ruehlman (33), Nathan Kroger (28), Kyle Music (22)

 

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 in the tournament includes: No. 1 Milford vs. winner of No. 18 Walnut Hills vs. No. 30 Northwest (May 12, 5:00 p.m. at Milford), No. 2 Loveland vs. winner of No. 21 Amelia-No. 27 Talawanda (May 12, 5:00 p.m. at Loveland), No. 12 Kings vs. No. 23 Glen Este (May 10, 5:00 p.m. at Kings), No. 18 Walnut Hills vs. No. 30 Northwest (May 10, 5:00 p.m. at Walnut Hills), No. 19 Anderson vs. No. 24 Sycamore (May 10, 5:00 p.m. at Anderson), No. 28 Turpin vs. No. 20 Wilmington (May 10, 5:00 p.m. at Wilmington), No. 32 Withrow vs. No. 8 Mason (May 10, 5:00 p.m. at Mason).

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 second of four Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association state polls was released on May 2 and the Eagles are listed third in the ratings. The Eagles trail only Jackson and Butler in the OHSBCA poll. Other area teams in the top-20 include Springboro (4th), Loveland (T-13th) and Moeller (15th). 

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.