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Decision To Focus On Pitching Proves Beneficial For Milligan

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Decision To Focus On Pitching Proves Beneficial For Milligan

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Colin Milligan RHP / SS / Rutherford B Hayes, OH / 2024

DELAWARE - The decision to focus solely on pitching has turned out quite nicely for Colin Milligan with a college commitment to Eastern Michigan.

“I started to think about just pitching at the end of my sophomore year of high school,” reflected the Rutherford B. Hayes senior, who previously considered shortstop as his top position. “Once my pitching ramped up I decided I’d rather pitch in college than hit.”

The improvement was obvious.

“I worked in the offseason getting bigger and I had a big velocity jump,” explained Milligan. “I kept getting stronger and had more velocity jumps.”

Throwing 75 at the beginning of his freshman year, Milligan was 78-79 a year later. But by the end of his sophomore year the velocity had reached 86-87. At the start of his junior campaign the velo was 89, by the middle of summer it had gotten to 90 and the 5-10 170-pounder is now topping out at 92.

“College baseball started to become realistic at the end of my sophomore year,” Milligan said. “I was starting as the 1-2 pitcher on our team and my velocity was coming up a lot. The offspeed started getting better and I was allowing almost no runs. I was first team all-league my junior year.”

College interest came with offers from Muskingum, Capital and Heidelberg with Walsh and Ohio University also showing interest. Then Eastern Michigan entered the mix.

“My high school coach told me to go to a camp there,” Milligan related. “They liked me and a couple weeks later (head) coach (Robbie) Britt called to give me an offer. I thought about it and sent him a text and committed.

“While I was at the camp they took me to the football field, the locker rooms, the basketball court, the weight rooms and the dome with turf inside.”

The 18-year-old came away impressed with what he saw at the Mid-American Conference university in Ypsilanti.

“The coaches were very welcoming,” Milligan said. “They answered all the questions I asked with detail. All the players were good to have a conversation with and they all seemed to get along great. The facilities were nice and it felt like a good atmosphere. It all sounded very good to me.”

The hard-throwing right-hander left a mark on EMU with what he had to offer.

“They like my command with the fastball,” Milligan noted. “They like my offspeed as a pitch to keep the hitter off-balanced. They also liked that I had a good pitching pace through live games.”

It all added up to a commitment and the end of a recruiting process that was “pretty stressful” according to Milligan.

“I had no offers until the Ohio Coaches event at Ohio State,” Milligan said in reference to the PBR Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Underclassmen Showcase at the end of June. “That’s where D-III schools came in and I had some D-I looks then as well that fell through. I had a velo jump after that, went to camps and got the offers.”

Milligan is excited about what he can provide at the next level.

“Hopefully, I’ll get another velo jump,” Milligan said. “I think I can help the team get outs, keep the team in games and bring another arm to the rotation.”

It was a memorable feeling when a commitment was made.

“It felt great,” Milligan related. “I was really happy about it, things were getting stressful. It feels good to be able to focus on getting better and not have to worry about camps, plus I can also give my arm a little rest.”

A major in health and business administration is planned by Milligan, a 3.0 student ready for the challenges ahead at the university three hours north from where he lives.

“I’m looking forward to being away from home, I’m excited for that,” Milligan concluded. “I’m anxious to see a new state, new people and to play against older and more experienced players. I’m ready to travel to other states and see other baseball cultures.”

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