By Jon Mettus
July 31, 2016
COTUIT — The Kettleers (14-26-1) kept their playoff hopes alive by beating Chatham (15-25-1), 1-0, at Lowell Park on Sunday and with help from a Hyannis loss shortly after.
Cotuit is two and a half games back from Hyannis for the last playoff spot in the West with just three games left in the season. The two teams will square off at Hyannis on Monday at 6 p.m.
The Kettleers hardly could’ve asked for a better day for their leadoff hitters at the plate. The leadoff batter reached base in six of the eight offensive innings for Cotuit, including the first four innings of the game.
First was Quinn Brodey (Stanford), who hit a grounder to short but beat out a poor throw. He got as far as second before being stranded. Next, Cal Stevenson (Arizona) hit a liner drive that bounced by the second baseman. He got to second before being stuck there, too.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning when Tim Susnara (Oregon) smacked one over the right field fence in his leadoff at-bat that the leadoff success paid off for the Kettleers.
“That’s a little unusual to get six guys on and only score one run,” Brodey said. “That wouldn’t usually happen. … Getting all those guys on is huge. Get that leadoff guy on and I think it’s like 70 or 80 percent of the time … that run scores.”
Cotuit finished with more leadoff hits than Chatham had total hits in the game.
Brodey and Eddie Muhl (George Washington) were honored prior to the game as the most valuable position player and pitcher for Cotuit, respectively. They were also the two to represent the Kettleers in the All-Star game.
Brodey was 3-for-4 on Sunday with a triple and Muhl did not pitch.
Both players have been success stories in their own rights this season. Muhl was a temporary player to start the year and played his way into getting a permanent contract. He’s played in more games than any other pitcher on the team (15) and has a record of 3-1.
“Honestly, I was surprised when it happened,” Muhl said. “It was a great surprise. It’s some nice recognition of hard work and consistency that I had. I wasn’t the hardest thrower out here. Didn’t have the best stuff, but I just tried to bring everything I had everyday and really leave it all out there.”
Brodey has been the team’s best hitter over the last few weeks, but had a rough start to the season. He had two hits in his first five games, hitting .133, and misplayed some balls in the outfield to earn bench time from Roberts.
Since July 6, though, Brodey has been on a tear. He’s hitting .395 with 32 hits, three home runs, 12 RBI and 15 runs. He’s jumped up to sixth in the league with a .328 batting average on the year.
“It’s a huge honor,” Brodey said. “Everybody on this team could get that award. It’s really great that the players and the coaches thought that I deserve that.
“I’ve just been a lot more comfortable in the box. I’ve found something that works and just stuck with that and hopefully keep improving.”