Juniors Brettell, Robinson bond during Cape Cod summer experience
Central Michigan juniors Michael Brettell and Daniel Robinson both played in the Cape Cod League this past summer — a league which was once home to Hall of Famers Craig Biggio and Frank Thomas
“I’ve played with (Robinson) the last two summers” Brettell said. “We played school ball and summer ball together, so it’s been fun getting to know Robinson pretty well. We had a lot of fun.”
The Cape Cod Baseball League has been around since 1885. Brettell and Robinson’s team, the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, finished last in the West Division with a 16-25-3 record.
Ron Polk, who head coach Steve Jaksa said is the “father of Southeastern Conference baseball," coached Brettell and Robinson in the Cape Cod League. Due to Polk’s close connection with Jaska, the entire CMU coaching staff was kept up to date on their performances.
“We watched them the whole summer,” Jaksa said. “Polk was their coach and he was at Mississippi State for a long time, so I know him pretty well. I got to know him when he was a college coach and when I was a high school coach.
“They are both good kids. But, they had great summers.”
Brettell, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound starting pitcher, managed a 3-3 record with the Harbor Hawks in eight starts across 43.2 innings pitched. He recorded 31 strikeouts.
“I faced a lot of tough competition, so I know what my stuff can do now because you’re playing against guys from all across the country,” Brettell said. “It’s the best league, so you’re facing the best of the best every day."
As for Robinson, he played on 42 games in the Cape Cod League, batting .294 with 40 hits, seven doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs, 14 walks and 10 stolen bases. Of his two home runs, one was in the last game of the season.
“It was a good, great experience,” Robinson said. “Michael’s a great guy and a great player, so when he was on the mound, I just felt really comfortable. I felt like he gave us a great chance to win. Having some familiarity was great.”
During his time playing this summer, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound outfielder spent time at all over the batting order. Jaksa plans to put Robinson in a position to perform this season.
“Robinson is going to have to step up for us,” Jaksa said. “He’s going to be in a different place in our lineup.”
In the 2017 Chippewa season, Robinson was one of two members of the team to start all 59 games. He led the Mid-American Conference in runs with 54 and stolen bases with 22, along with hitting .305 at the dish, one home run and 39 RBIs.
“(Brettell and Robinson) have to know to just do their job,” Jaska said. “We just want them to play and do what they’ve been taught. That’s what had gotten them here.”