Milford got its run in the top of the fourth. Paul VanWarner led off with a single to center, stole second, advanced to third on Wyatt Waters’ flyout to center and scored on Jacob Tabor’s single.
Milford coach Andrew Griffiths pulled son Peyton from the mound for the fifth inning, but the Panthers continued to manufacture runs against reliever Will Ward.
“(Peyton’s) a passionate kid, and you could tell he was getting frustrated,” Griffiths said. “His pitch count was getting up there, and I just thought it was time to give them a different look.”
Ward hit two of the first three batters he faced — Garrett Gott and Hawes. Both players scored on sacrifice flies, by Clayton Lyon and Truax, respectively.
Ward hit Miller with a pitch in the sixth, which also led to a run. Miller stole second and scored on Wainright’s single to center. Wainright then stole two more bases, setting up Gott for an RBI groundout to cap the scoring.
Wainright faced 26 batters in seven innings as Milford failed to send more than four batters to the plate in each. He rarely fell behind hitters, but the few times he did, the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize. That included a pair of strikeouts that started with 3-0 counts.
“He’s a very good player, probably the fastest we have seen all year,” Griffiths said. “As far as pitching, he is a good pitcher who was able to work the off speed to go along with a good fastball.
“We were not able to get any momentum,” he continued. “They were able to make plays from offense to defense. That’s a credit to Mike’s coaching. They did a great job of executing Mike’s game plan.”
Clark agreed that his team executed well.
“They did everything you could ask for as a coach. Linton was pitching well, getting ahead of guys. Our defense was strong behind him,” said Clark, whose program won the crossover for the first time since 2008 and the sixth time overall. “We got quality at-bats and ran up their pitch count. It was just a great game all over.”