Muehleib Comes Through For Bruins in the Pinch
A teammate describes Lake Braddock senior Kevin Muehleib as a guy who cracks a joke when you least expect it. More important to the Bruins, he’s also a guy who can crack a hit when the team most needs it.
With his team down two runs in the fourth inning yesterday, Muehleib pinchhit and lined a bases-loaded, two-out shot to center field for a three-run triple that pushed Lake Braddock to a 6-2 road win over South County and sole possession of first place in the Virginia AAA Patriot District.
Bruins senior right-hander Sean Chitsaz struggled a bit early but settled down to face the minimum number of batters from late in the third until the top of the seventh. With two men on and one out in the final inning, Chitsaz yielded to junior Shane Halley, who retired the two batters he faced.
Chitsaz and Halley have been a winning one-two punch for defending Northern Region champion Lake Braddock (11-2, 6-1): They have combined for an 8-1 record while allowing only six earned runs in about 50 innings.
Muehleib is less of a known quantity. He starts sometimes at designated hitter, so going up to bat in a clutch situation was not a foreign experience for him. DH, PH — either way, opposing pitchers know the guy can hit.
In what he said was his first-ever appearance against South County senior lefthander Kyle Hald (Old Dominion), Muehleib found a fastball out over the plate and swung. The South County center fielder took a step in on the ball and could not recover in time when he realized just how deep Muehleib had hit it.
Expecting a tight game, Lake Braddock Coach Jody Rutherford fielded more of a defensive lineup but knew that he had sea- soned batters he could insert if needed. Muehleib is “relaxed all the time,” said Chitsaz, who gave up seven hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk. “Nothing really gets to him. I was kind of happy that he was up there, because I know he’s confident in himself.”
Juniors Shannon Mark and Brenden Daley knocked in insurance runs for Lake Braddock in the top of the seventh.
South County (8-4, 5-2) scored runs in the first and third innings for a 2-0 lead. Hald went six innings, striking out seven batters, walking four and hitting two.
Lake Braddock’s Greg DeLaney slides underneath South County’s Brent Frazier.