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Mater Dei's Moore is baseball player of the year
Ty Moore is at the plate, with two strikes.
The opposing pitcher has Moore just where he wants him, right?
Wrong, according to JSerra pitching coach Dave Lawn.
"We'd get two strikes on him," Lawn said, "and I'd tell the other coaches, 'We're in trouble now.'"
Moore was trouble for a lot of opposing teams and pitchers, whatever the count, when he was in the batter's box or on the mound.
Here is what Moore did this baseball season as a senior at Mater Dei ...
He was 12-1 on the mound, with two saves, a 0.83 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings.
Moore batted .406 with 41 hits and 23 RBIs in 30 games. He struck out only three times in 117 plate appearances. And he was 10 for 10 on stolen-base attempts.
It was quite a season, one with enough highlights and consistency to make Moore the Orange County baseball player of the year for the 2012 season.
Moore also was Gatorade California Baseball Player of the Year, and was the 2011 county player of the year. He signed with UCLA, and this week is in Washington to begin a 50-game summer season in the West Coast League. Moore was drafted last week in the 25th round by the New York Yankees, but expects to be at UCLA this fall.
What motivates Moore now is what has motivated him since he began playing baseball, a feeling that as an average-looking, 6-foot and 185-pound athlete he does not always get the respect he deserves.
"I've always been the guy who gets overlooked until the end of the year," Moore said. "At the end of the year, people finally say, 'That guy's a player.'"
Mater Dei coach Burt Call said Moore is a player who keeps improving. This season, Call said, Moore made his largest advancement on the mound.
"Last year, Ty was more of a thrower," Call said. "This year, he became a pitcher and he became a consistent pitcher."
As for Moore's offensive skills, Call said, "Ty's such a competitor at the plate. He struck out only three times, and it seems like when he hits the ball he always hits the ball hard."
Mater Dei's season had some disappointments for Moore. The Monarchs finished second in the Trinity League, behind Orange Lutheran. They were eliminated in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Still, there were plenty of highlights. Mater Dei won the championship of the National High School Invitational in North Carolina, a tournament featuring many nationally ranked teams. Moore scored the winning run in the championship game, a 3-2 victory over Harvard Westlake of North Hollywood, and pitched the final four innings in relief.
Winning that tournament was, Moore said, "a close second" to his favorite Mater Dei baseball experience.
No. 1? Moore said it was the Monarchs' march to the CIF-SS Division title in 2010.
"My sophomore year, winning CIF and pitching with Cory (Hahn) in that perfect game in the finals," said Moore, who threw the final two innings after Hahn pitched five as they combined for a perfect game in a 2-0 victory over Dana Hills in the Division 1 championship game. "That was one of the best experiences of my life."
His parents, Roger and Tammy Moore, were his biggest supporters.
"They encouraged me to work as hard as I can, and they'd take me wherever I needed to go, whether it was cross country for a tournament or something, or just down to the cages to hit," he said.
Moore also thanked Call, the other Mater Dei coaches and the school in general.
"The four years I've had at Mater Dei were unmatchable," he said.
Ty Moore was unmatchable on the baseball field in Orange County, last year and again this year.