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Strong Pitching Paces Milford Baseball

With the season not quite to the midway point and the mercury rarely climbing into the upper 50s, pitching can be ahead of the hitting in high school baseball. That seems to be the case for Milford High, with the arms leading the way for a Scarlet Hawks team out to a 4-3 start through its first seven games.
"The pitching is there, the pitching has been very good," said head coach Paul Pellegrini. "The hitting has been coming along, I think guys are getting acclimated to how the weather has been."
Milford's bats have heated up with the weather. The Hawks scored 22 runs in back-to-back wins over Foxboro and Hopedale after plating just 14 runs total through their first five games. Milford still managed a pair of victories and two one-run losses during that stretch, thanks largely to staff ace Cam Cossette. "He is our go to guy on the mound, no question about it," said Pellegrini. "He's just a competitor. He's very intense and has kept us in games."
The senior right-hander posted a 2-1 record through his first four starts. He boasts a 1.95 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. Pellegrini says Cossette, who saw significant time on the mound as a junior, has embraced his role at the top of the pitching rotation. "[Cossette] has taken a step forward into the ace role," he said. "We threw him into the fire last year and he did well so I expected he would pick up where he left off this season."
Pellegrini said he's been trying different pitchers to see who will emerge as the second starter behind Cossette. Garrett Handley was a tough-luck loser against Canton, allowing just two hits in a game that lacked timely hitting for the Scarlet Hawks. Brian Hildebrand allowed just one run in a lengthy relief appearance, going 3 1/3 innings.
The pitching staff may get a bit of relief if MHS continues to swing the bat as it did against Foxboro and Hopedale. Freshman Blake Hill has stood out in his first year. The left-handed hitting right fielder doesn't look like a freshman at 6'1", 190lbs. He doesn't hit like a freshman either. Through his first seven games, Hill was 8-for-20 and leading the team in runs and runs batted in. "He is doing a great job," said Pellegrini. "Nothing phases him. There is no hesitation, no nervousness, he's going to be a special player for us."
Hill hit an inside the park home run against Hopedale that likely would have cleared the fence if not for Fino Fields cavernous outfield.
Milford has also gotten a boost from Scott DeCapua. The senior tore his ACL during the football season but rehabbed in time to return for his last year on the baseball diamond. He started in both offensive outbursts for Milford and went seven-for-11 with a pair of doubles. "Scott worked his rear end off to get back," said Pellegrini. "He's really seeing and hitting the ball well, he's been a big help."
At 3-2 in the Hockomock League, Milford sits second to unbeaten Oliver Ames in the Davenport Division. Pellegrini said vacation week games against Stoughton and Sharon will provide a reasonable barometer for his team.
"We are about where I thought we would be," he said. "The hitting and defense are improving but we have a couple of big league games coming up. We will really see where we are after those two."




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