Buffs to much to handle for Railsplitters

Miller slams two HRs, Penland excels on mound

By Kim Richardson
STAR Correspondent

   Coach Danny Clark has his Milligan College Buffaloes on a roll. His team is playing probably its best baseball of the season.
   Wednesday night the Buffs did so many things right, things that a team needs to be doing as they head down the regular season stretch.
   "Well, our season isn't over, we haven't won anything of significance yet," said a reserved Coach Clark, "but we've really showed signs that we can be a good baseball team." 
   The Buffs improved to 31-17 overall with an 11-4 win over the visiting Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters. And in so doing, they showed a variety of ways they can win.
   "It's always good to see the defense and pitching step up, because that's what you have to get this time of year especially," continued Clark. "Obviously it's great to see Brian (Miller) start to demonstrate what he can do with the bat, and J.P. (Penland) really battled out there on the mound tonight. He got into a couple of jams, but he and the defense worked out of it. So, overall we played pretty well."
   The Milligan defense turned two double plays and a beautiful five-four-three triple play in a brilliant performance against the LMU batters.
   Miller demonstrated amazing power at the plate. The 6-5 former Science Hill star drove a slider over the left-field fence for a solo homer in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the seventh Miller hit a monster blast to center field that cleared the fence by a long margin.
   "It's good to finally get back into the swing of things, being away from the game for some time," said Miller. "I took a slider for the first strike, and was a little lucky in guessing he might try another one, which he did and I was sort of sitting slider." 
   Miller was actually the second player for Milligan to enter the home-run derby. Leadoff batter and second baseman Nathan Meade drove a line shot beyond the left-field fence to give Penland and the Buffaloes an early 1-0 lead.
   "It felt real good," said Meade of the long ball. "I don't get into very many like that."
   However Meade and Miller were both more eager to praise their teammates than talk about the home runs.
   Miller said: "We took care of business defensively and our pitching has really been solid as of late. We still have some big games to go, and it's going to take all of us pulling as a team to get the job done."
   Meade concurred.
   "We feed off the mound, for sure," he said. "J.P. and all our pitching staff has been showing up and doing a great job lately, plus we play for the best coaching staff around, no doubt."
   Penland was hesitant to take credit for much success with tonight's strong outing.
   "I had my curve ball working reasonably well, and with hitting like Nathan, Brian and Brad (Hitch) were doing, driving the deep ball, well, that always helps -- having that many runs to work with.
   Hitch cleared the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning, and his homer along with Meade's and then Miller's two gave the Buffaloes four for the evening.