Chili Moseley plays a variety of positions for the Kirkwood baseball team and plays them all very well, but it would be terribly unfair to label him as simply a utility player.
Moseley is entirely capable of starting at second base, third base or right field for the Eagles - he's done all three in style - but the 5-foot-6 sophomore is extremely valuable at plugging whatever hole crops up at Kirkwood.
He's starting at second base now with Cal Clark on the disabled list and had a sensational weekend series against Ellsworth, going 8-for-12 with two doubles, a triple, a home and five RBIs in four games.
Kirkwood swept Ellsworth by identical 10-0 scores Sunday, with both games stopped in the sixth inning due to the college mercy rule in walk-off fashion. Moseley's two-run homer, a laser to left field, ended the second game for the twin-killing.
Moseley stays in the lineup on a regular basis due to his bat, his glove, his positive attitude and daring base-running, although sometimes it looks like Coach Todd Rima would like to put a lasso around him when he's trying for an extra base.
Moseley is hitting .357 with 25 RBIs and Rima loves writing his name in the lineup, no matter what position he happens to be playing.
"He does a little bit of everything," Rima said Sunday. "He is the most under-appreciated kid on our team, especially on the outside looking in. As coaches, we see what he brings to us.
"He's an unbelievable middle infielder. He's sacrificed for the team. He's played outfield, he's played third base. He'll do whatever it takes to win. He's a threat on the bases.
"He gives us his best effort every single day," said Rima. "And he's an unbelievable leader. The guys rally around him. He's a sparkplug that we love having in our program."
For the second straight season, Kirkwood is heading into the final week of the regular season with a chance to win the ICCAC title and the No. 1 seed for the regional tournament. The Eagles did not finish the job last year, but hope to get it done this time.
Southeastern leads the ICCAC race at 20-4 with a winning percentage of .833. Kirkwood is second at 17-4-1 and .795, with NIACC in third place at 17-6-1 and .729.
The team with the highest winning percentage will be named the league champion, and it will be Kirkwood if the Eagles can win 3-of-4 games against Southeastern this Friday and Saturday.
Kirkwood will end up playing two fewer games than Southeastern, and Kirkwood's 1-1 tie with NIACC also figures into the equation, but the task is very clear: Win 3 of 4 and claim the title.
"I think we're going to get them," said Moseley.
Moseley knows he'll be starting at second base against Southeastern with Clark sidelined after being hit by a pitch in the face last week and breaking six bones. Prior to that, Moseley had to show up at the park and talk to the coaches to find out where he'd be playing.
"I like it. It keeps me on my toes," he said. "I would say it's a blessing to be able to help out the team that way, being able to play that many positions."
Moseley, who played at North Scott High School, has committed to Mount Mercy University as a middle infielder, but he'll be willing to play anywhere for the Mustangs.
Moseley is not a big guy at 5-foot-6 and 145 pounds, but he swings with a lot of pop and is capable of hitting the ball a long way.
"To be honest, it's all about hitting the ball on the good part of the bat," he said. "I like swinging the bat a lot. I'll swing at just about anything."
Moseley is also an accomplished bunter and often takes the third baseman by surprise. He's also an aggressive base-runner who loves to keep moving forward.
"I do like it," he confirmed. "Coach Rima might not like it all the time. I like to piss people (opponents) off, I like to make them mad when I'm on base."
Kirkwood got terrific pitching in the 10-0 victories Sunday. Peyton Long (2-1) tossed a three-hit shutout in the opener and Adam Ketelson (7-0) pitched a two-hit gem in the nightcap with 12 strikeouts in six innings.
Ketelsen, a left-hander from Mount Vernon, has struck out 72 batters in 48 innings, an average of 1 1/2 strikeouts per inning. He lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.69.
Korry Howell went 4-for-4 with two doubles in the first game and finished the doubleheader with five RBIs. Taylor Jackson collected a double, triple and four RBIs in the twinbill. Izaya Fullard had three hits and picked up two more RBIs.
The Eagles raised their record to 35-10-1 and dropped Ellsworth to 13-36 overall and 10-14 in the league. The Eagles were hoping to sweep the four-game series, but dropped the first game on Saturday, 5-3, before bouncing back with three straight 10-run victories.
That set the stage for the four-game series against Southeastern, with a doubleheader in West Burlington on Friday and another twinbill at Kirkwood on Saturday.
"It was good to see us play well today," said Rima. "That was the key for us. We're a little banged up, so we need to take a couple of days to get rested up and get our legs back underneath us and then go try and play our best baseball against a really good team."
Ellsworth 000 000 - 0
Kirkwood 320 005 - 10
W - Long (2-1).
Ellsworth 000 000 - 0
Kirkwood 032 032 - 10
W - Ketelsen (7-0).