Weather no friend of Buffs

Jeff Birchfield • May 28, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Weather has made it tough to build any momentum for the Milligan College spring sports teams.

At the time of the year when baseball teams play nearly every day, the Buffs haven’t played since last Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with Martin Methodist. The softball team got back in action with a doubleheader against Montreat on Wednesday, but it was their first action in 11 days.

The Milligan baseball team is 12-15 overall and 3-6 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference heading into this weekend’s three-game series with Virginia Intermont.

Brandon Malone leads the team in batting with a .375 average. Malone, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound sophomore, also leads the team in doubles (10), home runs (4), RBIs (27) and sacrifice flies (7).

The best on-base percentage (.450) belongs to former Science Hill star Corey McPherson. It’s no accident for the patient hitter who has 33 hits in 97 at-bats, and a team-best 16 walks. He’s also made the most of his opportunities, leading the team with 28 runs scored.

Sam Tarlton has been the most consistent player this season. He ranks second on the team with a .370 batting average and second with a .442 on-base percentage. Same as McPherson, he’s one of the few whose number of walks are more than the times he’s struck out.

Cody Hyder, the former Happy Valley star, remains perfect (8-for-8) in stolen base attempts. Despite a limited number of plate appearances, Hyder is one of the Buffs’ most productive players. In just 45 at-bats, Hyder has 14 runs scored.

Jake Watts tops Milligan’s pitching stats, going 4-1 in seven games he’s appeared in. He also has a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings pitched.


The Milligan College softball team broke through an offensive slump on Wednesday.

The Lady Buffs swept Montreat 5-3 and 6-4 in a doubleheader to improve to 5-14 overall and 4-4 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

Scoring 11 runs over the two games were important for a team which had lost six of seven games, and had struggled at the plate. The Lady Buffs have hit just .233 as a team and have scored an average of less than three runs per game.

They’ve particularly struggled early in games, outscored 62-23 in the first four innings of their 19 games.

It’s led to a 1-7 record for junior pitcher Chancli Connaster although she has a solid 3.20 ERA. Emily Biggs has been one bright spot at the plate. The senior catcher leads the Lady Buffs with a .353 average and a .569 slugging percentage.


The Milligan women’s tennis team continues to roll on, ranked No. 25 in the NAIA national poll each of the last two weeks.

The Lady Buffs improved to 10-1 on the season with an 8-1 victory over Columbia (S.C.) College last Saturday.

Rachel Hodas, Grace Sarver, Sarah Rainwater, Kayla Kelly and Ahmee Kelly all picked up singles victories.

On the men’s side, Milligan defeated Millsaps College back on March 13 to wrap up the Hilton Head Classic.

Colin Bumann, Jackson Lenoir, Caleb Friddell and Mickey Brown all won in singles, with Friddell and Brown teaming up in No. 3 doubles to push the Buffs over the top.

Both men’s and women’s teams were scheduled to compete on Sunday against Tennessee Wesleyan, but it was another causalty of the weather. The teams are currently in Georgia for matches at Georgia Gwinnett and SCAD-Atlanta.


Senior Natalie Rivas and freshman Meagan Wright recorded personal bests for the Milligan track team in the 800 meters last Saturday at the Western Carolina Invitational.

Kevin Mowatt finished in the top 10 in the men’s 200 and 400, while freshman Mikayla Westgerdes was a standout with a third-place finish in the women’s hammer throw.

The Buffs have athletes competing in separate meets at Raleigh, N.C. and Rock Hill, S.C. this weekend.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos