Quinnipiac’s season comes to a close with loss to East Carolina

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Quinnipiac’s season comes to a close with loss to East Carolina

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Jacob Resnick and Kevin Higgins

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Postgame analysis:

Highlights and team reaction:

Game story

By: Jacob Resnick

GREENVILLE, N.C. — John Delaney may have been a key contributor on the 2005 Quinnipiac baseball team that reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, but he was tired of hearing about it.

Since inheriting the program in 2015, Delaney has made it is mission to give “Quinnipiac baseball” a different connotation.

While the Bobcats’ trip to Greenville didn’t end how anyone wanted — eliminated from the Regional with a 13-3 loss against the East Carolina Pirates on Sunday — Delaney has succeeded. The 2019 Quinnipiac team is the one by which all future squads will be judged.

“Now we can take 2005 and put it to the side,” Delaney said after a rollercoaster of a weekend. “Now we can talk about the team from 2019.”

None of this team’s program-best 30 wins were more energizing than Saturday’s upset over the nationally tenth-ranked Pirates on Saturday. No loss was more demoralizing than the Campbell Camels’ walk-off sacrifice fly in the winner’s bracket semifinal Sunday afternoon — until the Pirates jumped on the Bobcats’ throats mere hours later.

Still, the implications of stunning one of the top teams in the country have only began to materialize. Most importantly, Quinnipiac baseball is now on the proverbial map.

“It’s going to be hard for people not to mention Quinnipiac after this weekend,” Delaney said. “When you try to build an elite program, we’ve done a big piece in making that a reality now.”

The conclusion of the weekend marks the close of a handful of Bobcat careers, including captains Anthony Cruz and Brian Moskey. Cruz became a fan favorite at Clark-LeClair stadium by nature of his proximity to “the Jungle” in left field, where the most passionate Pirate fans gather to give the opposing outfielders a good-natured heckle.

“It was a little give and take. I said to them, ‘you guys made my last game one to remember,’” said Cruz, who was handed a gift basket of assorted sweets after the top of the ninth inning.

Cruz and Moskey represent the beginning of Delaney’s process, which required a hard sell on the direction of this program. They believed, and it’s finally paid off.

“I remember when I was in the office getting recruited here, they mentioned that it’s going to take a little bit but we’re going in the right direction,” Moskey said. “Honestly that’s why I came here. I trusted them.”

With plenty of chances to falter along the way [“I don’t trust people that easy, but I felt how genuine [Delaney] was in his words to me,” Cruz said], it just never happened.

“What’s made them so special is they’ve never changed who they are,” Delaney said. “When things got bad they didn’t change, they trusted what the process was. They stuck with how they got here and didn’t change when they got here.”

While Quinnipiac is losing key contributors like Liam Scafariello, who set the program’s home run record, and Andrew Workman, who tied the single-season saves record in 2019, the path to returning to sites like Greenville is in place. To the Bobcats of the future, Moskey says, “make this common.”

Quinnipiac knows it will be back. “You can never be satisfied in these situations,” Delaney said.

Satisfied, perhaps not. Proud? Well, there’s an entire state ready to give this team a hero’s welcome back home. In the end, none of them will stop and think for one minute about 2005.

The 2019 Quinnipiac Bobcats baseball team is one to remember.