Moore Set To Shut The Door For Ragin’ Cajuns In 2016 [VIDEO]
Closers are the executioners in baseball, and they’re not typically freshman. Dylan Moore is the Ragin’ Cajun reaper out of the bullpen, and he loves his job.
It takes a special mindset to lock down the final three outs of the game. Finishing a game and collecting a save isn’t for the timid, and certain psyches fit the task better. Freshman pitchers often need to be eased into the speed of the college game, but Moore stepped up for Tony Robichaux and set a school record with 13 saves in his first year on campus.
Moore said his metamorphosis into a full-blown shutdown closer happened gradually, thanks to the support he received from Tony Robichaux and the rest of the Ragin’ Cajuns.
“I embraced the role, I really enjoyed doing it. It was fun to be, but it kind of just slowly built up to that,” Moore said. He fully understands his role now, “The closer’s job is to get three outs. It’s not to worry about the score. It’s not to worry about anything other than getting those three outs, and like he [Robichaux] says, the last three outs are hardest to get, and you just have to focus on your end goal.”
When you play like Moore did, recognition and awards follow. He was named an All-Sun Belt performer, and Louisville Slugger selected him as a preseason All-American for 2016.
Moore’s herky-jerky delivery crossed batters up badly, leading to 24 appearances where he didn’t allow a single earned run and a deadly 1.60 ERA. Opposing coaches have more tape and charts on him now, but it’s never going to be easy to figure out his approach on the mound. There’s really nothing to compare it to.
Even “D-Mo” laughs about his delivery. It’s effective, but he certainly doesn’t say it’s normal. Growing up as a young baseball player, he came up with his own technique. Where did he draw his inspiration?
“I wish I could tell you. I would go try and teach it or something,” Moore joked. “I don’t really know anybody that throws like that, so it’s a little different.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns closer said he worked hard this offseason to hone his control. His strikeout to walk ratio last year was still solid (40 K:16 BB), so an improvement in that department should strike fear into the rest of the baseball world.
His time with Coach Robichaux, a recognized pitching guru, has been invaluable. He said the lessons learned at practice are almost hard to describe, and he has the veteran aid of fifth-year senior Nick Thurman behind the plate as well.
Moore didn’t pave his path alone last season. He came in with a talented bunch of fresman that stick together. Gunner Leger, Wyatt Marks, Evan Guillory and Moore were the main reason the Ragin’ Cajuns surprised the country last year all the way to another Super-Regional, and they helped each other all along the way. Leger, Marks and Guillory handled their business as young starters, and Moore came in on the back end to shut the door with authority. They put the work in together and tasted the fruits of their labor as a team, not as individuals.
Their comradery goes beyond the bullpen. Most of the best teams build their chemistry constantly, whether they’re in cleats or lounging around after practice.
“We all go out to eat after practice every day; we all hang out on the weekends,” Leger said. They’re also helping keep each other humble with their early success, “We’re not really concerned about the hype around us and everything. We’re just concerned about ourselves and staying together and pushing toward one goal.”
Omaha is the goal, and they’re not scared to talk about it. Several different players expressed the desire to make it to college baseball’s biggest stage, and 50 wins is another benchmark they would like to meet. If they want to reach that level of success again, they’re going to rely on Moore to drive the final nail in all types of coffins.
Luckily for Robe, the reaper knows he carries the sickle. When you see D-Mo come out of the bullpen, your time is up.