Muehleib Comes Through For Bru­ins in the Pinch

The Washington Post Sunday - - High Schools - By Pre­ston Wil­liams

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.

BY JOEL RICHARD­SON FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Lake Brad­dock’s Greg De­Laney slides un­der­neath South County’s Brent Fra­zier.

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