Unlike the end of last season when they had to sneak into the postseason despite losing seven of their final 10 games, the 2019 Milton High Junior Legion team cruised through the regular season, finding themselves perched atop the District 6 East standings with a record of 15-3 and 30 total points.
With about two-thirds of the team made up of players from private schools, such as BC High and Catholic Memorial, as well as a handful of players from Milton High, it did not take long for the team to gel.
After opening the year with a tough 11-10 road loss to Cohasset on June 9, Milton rattled off 11 wins in a row, including a revenge win over Cohasset and two victories each over Canton, Weymouth, Braintree, Holbrook (one being a forfeit), and Quincy before suffering their first loss in a month, falling to Braintree at Cunningham Park in July 9.
Milton received the benefit of another Holbrook forfeit but was defeated by Quincy on July 10, again at Cunningham Park, but then ended the season with three straight wins over Canton, Cohasset, and Weymouth to enter the tournament on a high note.
The key to success? Simply, pitching and defense.
Milton has been riding a three-headed pitching monster of Jake Donahoe, Declan Joyce, and Graham O’Donnell. The trio have done a terrific job for the team this summer and have been their strength during the regular season.
Third baseman Jack Fahey, who currently plays for CM, has been playing well all season long at the hot corner while Mike Donahue has caught every game thus far and has been nothing short of great behind the plate.
Milton has been getting it done at the plate as well, getting timely hits from leadoff hitter and center fielder Tom Rooney, infielder Colin Hoey, a Bay State League All-Star for Milton High, and right fielder Kevin Radley, who had a sizzling July, hitting close to .400 for the month. O’Donnell and Joyce have also chipped in from the batter’s box.
“That’s really been it,” head coach Mike Collins said of the team. “When you play great defense for guys who can throw the ball well and can keep teams off the scoreboard, combined with some timely hitting, you’re going to do well.”
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