Forty games into his first season with Quinnipiac, baseball head coach John Delaney has already developed a winning environment.
After finishing the 2014 season at 18-31 (12-10 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), former head coach Dan Gooley retired after 33 seasons with the program. Ex-Quinnipiac player and Milwaukee Brewers draftee Delaney immediately took over following the season, being promoted from assistant coach to head coach.
Since he’s taken over, the baseball program has looked brighter after each and every game.
During his three-year tenure with the Brewers, Delaney was regarded as one of the top third-baseman prospects in the organization before he decided to retire, according to the Quinnipiac athletics website.
When Delaney made his return to the team as an assistant in 2013, he brought much needed professional knowledge with him. Any former player that has experience in professional sports has loads of information and wisdom to share. For Quinnipiac to have Delaney guiding the baseball team has been perfection.
On April 21st, the Quinnipiac baseball team won its 18th and 19th games of the season, tying and eclipsing the 18 win-mark from a year ago. With 12 games to go in the regular season, the Bobcats have the chance to further their quest for improvement.
When Delaney took over as head coach, it can only be assumed that he implemented the hard work mentality that won him “Hardest Worker Award” at the Brewers’ 2009 spring training camp.
The Bobcats have made a great turn around offensively this season compared to last under their new guidance, specifically.
In 49 games last season, the Bobcats drove in 201 runs, had a batting average of .247, an on-base-percentage of .332, a slugging percentage of .341 and 16 total home runs.
In 40 games this season, their improvement is easily visible. Quinnipiac has driven in 184 runs so far, has a team batting average of .266, an on-base-percentage of .347, a slugging percentage of .354 and a total of 13 home runs.
Delaney has the Bobcats taking risks offensively with the way they have been running the bases, which makes a large difference. Quinnipiac has stolen 57 bases and been caught only 22 times, compared to last season where the Bobcats stole 47 bases and were caught 21 times in the full season.
During the April 15 win over Northeastern, fans in attendance saw this first hand. Delaney instructed his team to execute a risky double steal.
With a runners on first and third, Delaney sent the runner from first and Northeastern’s catcher Josh Treff reacted by throwing the ball to second base, forgetting about the runner at third. The runner at third immediately sprinted towards home plate and slid in safely while the runner from first was safe at second as well.
“That is our style of play. Our approach is to be aggressive,” Delaney said after the 5-1 win. “Stealing runs is a big part of the game, those small plays are the difference makers.”
With a record of 11-7, Quinnipiac has the most wins in the MAAC. It’s difference-making plays like this that have the Bobcats atop the standings.
With the way Delaney has been turning the program around, Quinnipiac has to look like a destination for possible recruits. And if they can get a better field in the future, it can only help.
To have the choice to play for a head coach who has MLB experience, encourages his team to play exciting baseball and play for a program that has scheduled games against powerhouses such as Vanderbilt and Northeastern should be a no-brainer.
Only time will tell, but the future of the baseball program looks bright under John Delaney.
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