Moline graduate Matt Brill is in the midst of an all-star season for the Kane County Cougars.
Midwest League managers selected Brill along with three Quad-Cities River Bandits pitchers and four Clinton LumberKings to the roster for the Western Division team for the league’s 54th annual all-star game.
This year’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 19 at Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium, and rosters were announced Wednesday for a game that will include the River Bandits’ Parker Mushinski, Patrick Sandoval and Peter Solomon on the Western all-star team.
The LumberKings’ Jack Larsen was selected to start in the outfield, while infielder Ryan Costello was chosen as a reserve and pitchers Collin Kober and Ryne Inman are among 15 pitchers named to the team.
Quad-Cities manager Mickey Storey and the River Bandits coaching staff will coach the Western Division team.
Brill, a 12th-round draft pick of the Diamondbacks in 2017 out of Appalachian State, is the first player from the Quad-Cities to be selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star Game since Rock Island’s Chris Allison played in the game in 1995.
Then playing for the Michigan Battle Cats, the current coach of Rock Island’s first-ever state-qualifying softball team, was named the all-star game’s Star of Stars that year at West Michigan.
Brill earned his opportunity with consistent work for Kane County out of the bullpen. He has a 4-1 record and 3.52 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cougars, leading the team with six saves in eight opportunities.
Storey expected the Quad-Cities pitching staff to be well represented. The River Bandits lead the Midwest League with a 3.15 ERA, and the team’s 611 strikeouts are 63 more than the next-closest team, Clinton.
"We probably have four or five pitchers who are deserving, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision as people voted," Storey said. "We have a number of quality arms. I’m little surprised that our position guys didn’t get a little more attention. We have a couple of guys who are worthy."
Mushinski, Sandoval and Solomon have been solid performers for Quad-Cities.
A seventh-round pick of the Astros in 2017 from Texas Tech, Mushinski has started seven of the 10 games he worked for the River Bandits, putting together a 2-0 record and a 1.90 ERA. He has 54 strikeouts in 42.2 innings of work and has not allowed more than three runs in any outing this year.
Sandoval was Quad-Cities’ opening-night starter and the 11th-round pick of Houston in the 2015 draft is 5-1 with a 3.31 ERA with seven starts among 11 appearances. A returning player from last season’s Midwest League championship team, he has 52 strikeouts and has walked 10 batters in 49 innings of work.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft from Notre Dame, Solomon is 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA through six starts and five relief outings for the River Bandits. Solomon has 50 strikeouts and has walked 21 in 41.1 innings of work this season.
The LumberKings’ Larsen has been Clinton’s right fielder, and he earned his all-star starting opportunity by carrying a .287 batting average with seven home runs among 23 extra-base hits through 55 games.
Larsen also has 38 RBIs on the season and currently shares the lead in the Mariners’ farm system in that area with Costello, the LumberKings’ first baseman who has a .270 batting average and leads Clinton with eight home runs.
Inman is 3-2 on the season with a 3.99 ERA, striking out 53 batters and walking 21 over 47.1 innings of work in 10 starts for the LumberKings, while Kober has made all 15 of his appearances for Clinton out of the bullpen. He is 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA, striking out 34 and walking eight in 26.2 innings of work.