Martin’s slam lifts Milford

Milford Post 23’s starting pitcher Patrick Martin waited the entire game for some run support. Eventually, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Martin belted a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading Milford to a dramatic 8-5 victory over Concord Post 21 in American Legion Senior District A action.

Through the first seven innings, the Milford offense could not figure out opposing starter Seimou Smith, managing only four hits against the lanky righty. Smith got a quick out in the bottom of the eighth inning, and that’s when the Milford offense finally woke up.

Trailing 5-1, Martin stepped up to bat with a runner on second. Milford’s starter belted a double to left-center field, knocking in a run and cutting his team’s deficit to three. Concord shortstop Chapin Bassi proceeded to make a pair of errors, allowing two more Milford runners to score.

“The opposing pitcher was keeping us off balance because of his delivery,” Milford coach Frank Douglas said. “He wasn’t really throwing that hard; there’s just a big difference between his fastball and off-speed stuff. So we knew it was only a matter of time before we started catching up to him.”

Tommy Bennett and Mike Mancini led off the bottom of the ninth with walks. Ryan Britton then hit a soft single to shallow left field, loading the bases and chasing Smith from the game. In the next at-bat, Martin sent reliever Chris Farr’s pitch over the left field fence, sealing the victory.

Martin finished the contest with a pair of hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. He knocked in five Milford runners and also stole a base. Britton finished with two hits and an RBI while teammate Cam Douglas also knocked in a run.

In addition to his heroics at the plate, Martin had a solid outing on the mound. The pitcher allowed 10 hits and only one walk while striking out nine. All five of Concord’s runs were earned.

“He’s a horse,” Douglas said. “He’s the type of kid who can get bases loaded with no outs and pitch his way out of it. He doesn’t quit on the mound.”

Luckily for Milford, he doesn’t quit at the plate, either.