Offense and Pitching Helping Milford Legion
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · July 08, 2016
After a .500 start, the Milford Legion baseball team rattled off six wins in seven games to move toward the top of the Zone 4 standings, buoyed by strong starting pitching and an emerging offense.
"Over the past week, we have started to play better baseball," Milford manager Steve DiVitto said before his team shut out Cherry Valley 12-0 on Monday. "We are getting our starting pitching still, and the other thing is the bats have started to come around. We didn't have a lot of timely hitting early in the year and that's something that has been big for us lately. The timely hitting is starting to show up and that's important stuff."
Milford boasts a 1.66 staff ERA through the first 13 games of the season, just past the midway point of the schedule. Milford High product Alex Macek has allowed just one earned run through 18 innings of work, sporting a 2-1 record on the mound and 0.38 ERA. Blackstone Valley Tech grad Tyler Brodeur and Milford native Kevin Valentine, who played for Worcester State, also have sub-1.50 ERAs.
Post 59 has also seen a significant uptick in its offense, with double-digit run totals in Monday's win over Cherry Valley and in last week's 14-7 drubbing of Grafton Hill. Bellingham's Shawn Rebello leads the team with a .409 batting average and Milford to-be junior Aidan Wilde is hitting .375 with 15 runs batted in.
"Rebello and Wilde are absolutely tattooing the ball," DiVitto said. "Shawn plays a great outfield for us and gets a great jump on the ball. He leads the zone in total bases and he's second in extra base hits. He is dangerous at the plate."
DiVitto said he is particularly excited about the fact that Rebello and Wilde are both younger players. He recounted the pair collaborating for back-to-back two-strike doubles against Northbridge, a key moment in a signature win over another Zone 4 contender.
"They were almost identical swings," DiVitto said. "They are young guys, but carrying themselves like seasoned veterans."
With the 24-game scheduled packed into a single month, the manager has been pleased to see how quickly his team has been able to come together despite coming from several different schools.
"They have gelled well together, they really have, they have formed a nice team bond in just 15 days," DiVitto said. "In two weeks, they have become the tight knit group that we have right now, that is a testament to them being willing to be open minded toward working with each other."
Milford is also hoping to get another arm into the mix before the end of the year in Nipmuc's Kyle Nocera, who is working his way back from an arm injury.
"It would be big to get him back, heading into the stretch run, so we will see," DiVitto said. "One thing, we can't do is fall asleep at the wheel, even though we have put ourselves in a good position. Now is the time to keep grinding."