Former Cyclones Whittemore, Gould excel for Buffs

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   With the years Milligan College seniors and former Elizabethton High standouts Ben Whittemore and Pat Gould are having, they may start calling the Buffs baseball team the Milligan Cyclones.
   Whittemore and Gould have had big seasons for Milligan head coach and former Elizabethton High player Danny Clark.
   Clark has known these two players for quite sometime, and feels a special connection between them.
   "It's nice to get local kids," Clark said. "Obviously, I've got a special relationship with both Ben and Pat. I've known them basically all their life. I played with Ben's brother, Louie, and we are still best friends, and I've known Pat since he's been five or six years old. It's been a special relationship with those two guys, probably more than I have with any other player just from the standpoint that I know them from a personal standpoint."
   Whittemore is batting .354 on the season, while Gould is right behind him with a .351 average.
   Gould missed last season, so Whittemore is more than happy to have the whole Cyclone connection back.
   "It's been pretty nice," Whittemore said. "It always keeps a good link between the past and the present, knowing where we both came from. We played T-Ball together, pee-wee and little league, high school and now we're getting to play in college. It's a pretty special thing. Not many people get an opportunity to do that."
   Whittemore not only feels it's special to play with his old teammate, but also feels good about playing for a former Cyclone in Coach Clark.
   "You want to go out there and perform a little more just because I'm playing for somebody who is from Elizabethton and they meant a lot to the program when they played," he said. "They're here to try and raise the program up. We're in Elizabethton still. It just makes you want to go out there and try to make your town proud and show everybody that Elizabethton has some ability there."
   As for Gould, he's glad to be rejoining his teammate after not being able to suit up last year.
   "It's felt pretty good," Gould said. "Sorry I had to waste a year or whatever, but it just feels good to be back out here and try to help win some games here."
   Gould missing last year allowed the two to be able to share this senior season together.
   It's something Gould cherishes.
   "Ben and I have grown up together, lived in the same neighborhood and everything," Gould said. "It's been real special that we've been able to play together through college ball, too."
   Gould is also happy to be playing for Coach Clark. He feels the three former Cyclones have a special bond that can't be broken.
   "We've all known each other growing up, so it's been a real special thing to really be around each other through college," Gould said.
   Whittemore and Gould will be playing their last games at Anglin Field this weekend against Tennessee Wesleyan.
   The games have even added importance with Wesleyan ranked No. 3 in the country this week.
   "They're supposed to be a top-notch team, so it's probably going to be one of the best teams we've played against since we've been here, excluding D-II schools," Gould said.
   Said Whittemore: "This is such a huge series. I know Tennessee
   Wesleyan is a good team. From what I understand they've really been on a roll all year. We've got the talent, we've got everything that it takes to win two or three. We've just got to put it all together. Hopefully, everything will go our way, and I definitely think we can end this weekend with three wins."
   Whittemore not only wants to win the series for Milligan College, but also for his hometown.
   "That hometown pride is just something to be proud of here," he said. "It's a small college and we compete. We contend with the best of the schools that are in our division. I guess to go out on top would be really nice.
   MILLIGAN NOTES:
   *Today's start time has been moved up to 2 p.m. instead of the 3 p.m. time originally scheduled. The 'Buffs will play in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday.