Schuck's Clipboard

Beyond the Boxscore: Hawks becoming new version of chain gang

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 10, 2018 10:30 pm Updated: Mar. 10, 2018 10:33 pm

With his day finished, Brandon Moriarty put on his jacket and popped out of the Quincy University baseball team's dugout to run to the bullpen and back.

A gold chain that would make Mr. T jealous dangled from his neck.

"It's the ‘good thing chain,'" explained Moriarty, the sophomore left-hander who made his first career start Saturday in the final game of a four-game series against Wisconsin-Parkside at QU Stadium. "Every time someone hits a home run or strikes out the side or puts zeroes up on the board, you get to wear the chain."

Moriarty earned the right to wear the chain with a sterling effort. He worked five scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four as the Hawks completed the sweep with a 4-0 victory. It is Moriarty's first collegiate victory -- he made eight appearances as a freshman totaling seven innings -- and has yet to allow a run in his collegiate career.

He wasn't the only one who could have been wearing the chain at the end of the day. Four relievers followed Moriarty and each tossed a scoreless frame. Senior closer Cole Crawford worked the ninth, striking out the side.

"Big time, big time," Moriarty said of his teammates.

The chain was recently introduced to the dugout by sophomore right-handed reliever William Sanchez, and it is adorned with a plastic fish.

"We didn't have anything else to put on the chain, so we put a fish on it," Moriarty said.

It doesn't quite match the "Never bunt, hit dingers" wristband the 2016 QU team passed around after home run, but the "good thing chain" adds a little fun to an already lively dugout.


DeMuri finds his swing

The last thing J.C. DeMuri was going to do was look at his numbers. He knew he was in a funk offensively, and checking his batting average wasn't going to help.

"I try to keep everything out of my mind," the senior right fielder said. "If I look at my average, all it is going to do is bring me down. Baseball is such a mental game, and the last thing you want to do in that situation is press even more."

DeMuri, a preseason All-American, came into the weekend hitting just .167 in the Hawks' first 10 games.

"I feel like I haven't had too much luck, hitting balls at people and that kind of stuff," DeMuri said. "I feel as long as your putting the ball in play it will be ok. Seeing the ball hit the grass is nice, too. It builds your confidence up, too."

The ball hit the grass a little more often this weekend.

DeMuri put together a four-game hitting streak, going 5 of 16 against the Rangers and upping his average to .212. It's going to be a slow, steady climb back to the .300 mark, but he is no longer below the Mendoza line.

DeMuri had five RBIs with two doubles and a triple against the Rangers. In the first 10 games, he had just three RBIs and one extra-base hit.

"Right now, it's about not trying to out too much pressure on yourself and just let the natural abilities take over," DeMuri said.


Tamaccio establishing himself

Much like the start of the 2017 season, QU coach Josh Rabe has tried a variety of players at third base in hopes of finding a consistent bat and glove.

And much like last season, TJ Tamaccio appears to be settling in as that guy.

Tamaccio, a junior, started all four games against Parkside, going 5 of 13 with five RBIs, two doubles and two home runs.

He had just one hit in his previous five games -- four were start. More importantly, he was errorless in eight chances in the field with six assists and two putouts. Tamaccio has not made an error since the season-opening loss to Delta State.