College Baseball

Zeroes across the board: Hawks hold Rangers scoreless in doubleheader sweep

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 10, 2018 10:00 pm Updated: Mar. 10, 2018 10:01 pm

QUINCY -- Under normal circumstances, all Brandon Moriarty would have had to worry about was the fact he was making his first collegiate start.

Knowing his teammates had tossed 14 consecutive scoreless innings this weekend changed things just a little.

"It's almost like a must now," said Moriarty, a sophomore left-hander on the Quincy University baseball team. "You don't want to change that whole mentality of putting zeroes up there. I just had to follow it up."

He didn't disappoint.

Moriarty threw five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, and then watched the bullpen finish off a third straight shutout as the Hawks completed a four-game sweep of Wisconsin-Parkside with a 4-0 victory Saturday at QU Stadium..

Quincy (9-5) won the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 5-0 as Jimmy McDonald tossed a complete-game three-hitter.

"This is the best I've seen these guys," Moriarty said when asked about the QU pitching staff's confidence. "The confidence in each other, the confidence our coaches have to throw anyone out there is high. We're very confident."

Putting zero after zero on the scoreboard makes everyone feel good.

"Right now, we have all the confidence in the world in our pitchers," senior right fielder J.C. DeMuri said. "They proved they deserve it with the performance the last three games."

Senior right-hander Nick Stroud got it started with a seven-inning shutout of the Rangers on Friday. Sophomore right-hander Jimmy McDonald kept it rolling despite an auspicious beginning Saturday.

The Rangers' Kyle Schultz led off with a single to left field, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Hawks catcher Jeff Hightower. Wisconsin-Parkside's Lovell Chandler walked to put runners at the corners and stole second as part of a double-steal attempt.

However, Schultz was thrown out stealing home as Quincy shortstop Brynn Martinez took a throw from Hightower and zipped the ball back to plate to catch Schultz.

McDonald settled in nicely after that. He retired the next two batters to strand Chandler at second and allowed only three baserunners the remainder of the game. He retired eight straight batters to end the game and finished with 10 strikeouts.

"Jim's been kind of banged up," Quincy coach Josh Rabe said. "He had a rough fall and his arm was hurting him. This spring, he's still been dealing with some tendinitis, so he's still building up his arm strength.

"But he gets better every single outing, and it's good to see."

It helps to pitch with a lead.

The Hawks staked McDonald to a three-run cushion in the bottom of the first as DeMuri rattled a run-scoring double to right-center field, and two batters later, designated hitter Mike Nielsen cracked a two-run single to left field.

Nielsen went 2 for 3 as seven of the Hawks had at least one hit.

Scoring early and often became a theme in the nightcap as well.

DeMuri delivered a one-out RBI single in the first inning. In the second, TJ Tamaccio led off with a double and scored on Jake Viaene's sacrifice fly. Justin Eads followed with a single, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on Martinez's single.

In the third, Tamaccio had a two-out RBI single.

"I was encouraged with the bats this weekend," Rabe said. "We didn't strikeout. We battled with two strikes. We made the pitcher work a little bit. We situational hit. It was good."

And the pitching was stellar.

Moriarty had made one previous appearance this season and threw just seven innings as a freshman, but he hadn't allowed a collegiate run.

He still hasn't.

"I was just trying to get the defense in and out as quick as possible," Moriarty said. "That was my mentality."

The relievers did the same. Freshman right-hander Jack Widhalm, sophomore left-hander Sam Stephens, junior right-hander Karl Hirsch and senior closer Cole Crawford combined to allow two hits and strike out seven over the final four innings. Crawford struck out the side in the ninth.

"We got the good vibes going again and got our team confidence back up," DeMuri said. "Once good things start happening and start rolling, it's always awesome."

Quincy 5, Wisconsin-Parkside 0

Parkside 000 000 0--0 3 0

Quincy 310 100 x--5 8 1

Rana and Eisenmenger, Vento (5); McDonald and Hightower. WP--McDonald (1-0). LP--Rana (1-2). 2B--Quincy 2 (Birdsong, DeMuri). HR--Quincy 1 (Tamaccio).

Quincy 4, Wisconsin-Parkside 0

Parkside 000 000 000--0 3 0

Quincy 121 000 00x--4 9 0

Cunningham, Portner (8) and Vento; Moriarty, Widhalm (6), Stephens (7), Hirsch (8), Crawford (9) and Viaene. WP--Moriarty (1-0). LP--Cunningham (0-2). 2B--Quincy 1 (Tamaccio). 3B--Quincy 1 (Martinez).