During the past two years, Seymour’s Mitchell Moore imprinted a new mindset on and off the baseball diamond: outwork everyone.
Moore, a senior, lives and breathes baseball.
During the summer and fall, he travels around the state to play games with teams like the Indiana Outlaws.
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In the winter, he’s inside lifting weights, using the hitting facility and working on his pitches to get the extra edge.
When spring finally arrives, everything comes together, and it’s time to take the stage.
This past season, Moore dominated on the mound, leading the Owls in almost every statistical category, throwing 64 strikeouts while giving up 52 hits in 581/3 innings with a record of 7-2.
At the plate, it was more of the same.
Moore led the team with 32 hits, 24 RBI and an average of .400.
“I credit all of his improvements to his work ethic,” Owls coach Jeremy Richey said. “He’s an extremely hardworking kid, and he has been that way for all four years. I think the one thing different between his junior and senior year was his consistency. I think the game slowed down for him a lot as a senior. He just improved tremendously on the mound and at the plate.”
With his accomplishments this season, The Tribune has named Moore the 2015 Baseball Player of the Year.
One of Moore’s biggest improvements pitching this season was his ability to throw strikeouts on off-speed pitches.
Working with Owls pitching coach Elvis Hernandez, Moore developed into a force on the mound.
“My pitching really improved. I gained some velocity through arm-care camps and long-toss camps and worked on my off-speed pitching with (Hernandez),” Moore said. “I credit a lot of my success to (Hernandez) because we threw in the wintertime. He helped me become a strikeout pitcher.”
When the Owls needed a pitcher to take command of a game, they often relied on Moore to throw against strong teams.
With his arsenal of pitches, Moore dictated the strike zone.
“He commanded throwing strikes,” Richey said. “The one thing, compared to the rest of our staff, was not walking people. He commanded the strike zone and improved on his breaking ball from last year. That was an out pitch this year. When he gave up some hits, it wasn’t as costly because there wasn’t guys already on base.”
Moore looked ahead to pitching in the postseason at the beginning of the 2015 season.
In the sectional semifinals at Seymour against Bedford North Lawrence, Moore threw all seven innings with four strikeouts, seven hits, two walks and two runs to lead his team to a 4-2 victory and a sectional championship berth.
Moore also came up with an RBI, tied at 2-2, in the seventh inning to help his team edge the Stars.
“Coming into the season, I remember last year, coach Richey didn’t pitch me in (last year’s) sectional, and I said this year, ‘I want to make sure I’m throwing against good teams and in the sectional.’ The big games,” Moore said. “(Richey) said he would because he knew I was going to work hard and give my best effort. It was exciting. You get the adrenaline pumping. It’s a good feeling that you have the team on your back and can lead them to victory against some pretty good teams in the Hoosier Hills Conference.”
Leading by example
During games, Moore wasn’t always the most vocal person on the field. He let his play do the talking.
Moore, a relatively quiet person, said by achieving success he was able to lead by example.
“Sometimes, when I had to, I would speak up and take control,” Moore said. “I tried to lead by example with hard work. When you get the job done on the field, that’s when people will listen to you. That’s how you can earn respect with your teammates.”
This season, the Owls graduated five seniors. For Richey, this was the first group of kids who went all four years in his program since taking the head coaching position in 2012.
Richey said that Moore developed into a solid leader as he climbed the ranks of the Owls’ roster.
“I think his best quality, as a leader, is through his actions,” Richey said. “The last two weeks of the season he really became that leader vocally. He improved on that every year at the high school.”
Leading the Owls at both the plate and on the mound was big for the team’s success during the season.
“I didn’t try to do too much at the plate,” Moore said. “Our assistant coach, D.J. Henkle, always says to not overthink it. I mostly swung at fastballs, not too many of the off-speed pitches. The hitting facility helped me a lot with the hitting this year. I got a lot of extra hitting in and practice, which helped a lot.”
The Owls finished their season at 15-13, falling to Floyd Central 7-0 in the sectional championship — their second championship appearance in four years.
Building the future
Now that his time is over with the Owls, Moore plans on attending Purdue University to pursue a degree in applied exercise and health to become a physical therapist.
Like many of his teammates, Moore has worked with youngsters in Seymour to help build the Owls program.
He said he has worked with the summer baseball camp and pitching camps in the winter.
Moore plans on trying to walk on to the Boilermakers’ squad, which will conduct tryouts in September.
“I set a goal for myself a couple of years ago to play some college baseball, and I realized I have to work,” Moore said. “There are other kids that are above me because I’ve waited so long to get on it, so I knew I was going to have to work really hard to be successful.”
This summer, Moore will continue to work with the Seymour coaches in hopes of making it onto Purdue’s roster.
Jake Moore//Trinity Lutheran//Sophomore//Pitcher
Batting: 72 AB, 31 H (5 2B, 3 3B), 16 RBI, 25 R, .431 AVG
Pitching: 52 IP, 61 K, 61 H, 32 BB, 43 R (27 ER)
Honors: 2015 Cougars most valuable player
Tyler Lawson//Brownstown Central//Junior//Pitcher
Pitching: 48 2/3 IP, 49 K, 6 BB, 22 R (10 ER), 1.44 ERA
Honors: All-Mid-Southern Conference, Braves’ 2015 pitching award
Mitchell Grider//Brownstown Central//Senior//DH
Batting: 86 AB, 35 H (9 2B, 2 HR), 26 RBI, 19 R, .407 AVG
Honors: MSC honorable mention, tied school record with five hits in a game
Batting: 58 AB, 19 H (6 2B, 2 HR), 13 RBI, 10 R, .328 AVG
Honors: Doug Hill Memorial Award, Hoosier Hills Conference honorable mention, Owls .500 club
Batting: 62 AB, 16 H (2 2B, 1 HR), .258 AVG
Honors: Owls hustle award, Owls .500 club
Jorge Vega//Seymour//Junior//First Base
Batting: 66 AB, 16 H (2 2B), 16 RBI, 9 R, .242 AVG
Honors: Owls golden glove, Owls .500 club
Zach McCory//Brownstown Central//Junior//Shortstop
Batting: 82 AB, 32 H (8 2B, 1 HR), 24 RBI, 22 R, .390 AVG
Honors: All-MSC, 2015 Braves MVP
Collin DeHart//Brownstown Central//Senior//Second Base
Batting: 88 AB, 28 H (11 2B, 1 HR), 18 RBI, 25 R, .318 AVG
Chandler Reynolds//Trinity Lutheran//Freshman//Third Base
Batting: 57 AB, 23 H (3 2B, 1 HR), 17 RBI, 13 R, .404 AVG
Honors: 2015 co-Cougar Award recipient
Batting: 75 AB, 22 H (3 2B), 14 RBI, 17 R, .293 AVG
Honors: Owls .500 club, Owls golden glove
Jacob Schult//Trinity Lutheran//Junior/Outfield and Pitcher
Pitching: 27 2/3 IP, 35 K, 41 H, 19 BB, 34 R (24 ER)
Batting: 66 AB, 22 H (6 2B), 19 RBI, 16 R, .333 AVG
Janzen Bloom//Seymour//Junior//Outfield and Pitcher
Pitching: 42 IP, 51 K, 34 H, 38 BB, 33 R (24 ER)
Batting: 60 AB, 16 H (5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR), 6 R .267 AVG
Cole Borden//Brownstown Central//Senior
Batting: 56 AB, 20 H (3 2B, 1 HR), 9 RBI, .357 AVG
Honors: Braves career record for fielding percentage (.991)
Sam Crick//Trinity Lutheran//Sophomore
Pitching: 22 2/3 IP, 35 K, 35 H, 15 BB, 31 R (21 ER)
Batting: 53 AB, 17 H (4 2B, 1 HR), 9 RBI, .321 AVG
Cole Brock//Brownstown Central//Junior
Batting: 62 AB, 22 H (3 2B), 13 RBI, 14 R, .355 AVG
Pitching: 29 2/3 IP, 20 K, 22 H, 13 BB, 12 R (9 ER)
Batting: 67 AB, 16 H (2 2B), 7 RBI, 14 R, .239 AVG
Austin Green//Brownstown Central//Junior
Pitching: 48 IP, 46 K, 47 H, 25 BB, 37 R (24 ER)
Batting: 65 AB, 22 H (3 2B), 13 RBI, 14 R, .277 AVG
Batting: 76 AB, 14 H (5 2B), 10 RBI, 21 R, .187 AVG
Honors: Owls golden glove
Batting: 34 AB, 10 H (3 2B), 6 RBI, 12 R, .294 AVG
Honors: Owls .500 club
Batting: 29 AB, 7 H (3 2B), 1 RBI, 1 R, .241 AVG
Honors: Tigers batting award, Tigers outstanding athlete
Baseball player of the year
Innings pitched: 58 1/3
Runs: 23 (22 earned)
Batting Average Against: .243
Earned Run Against: 2.64
Hits: 32 (7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
Runs batted in: 24
Batting average: .400
On-base percentage: .480
Runs scored: 22
Stolen bases: 14
All-Hoosier Hills Conference first team, All-District first team, 2015 Owls most valuable player/pitcher of the year/hitter of the year/.500 club, nominated to All-State team and North/South All-Star game.
“I tried to lead by example with hard work. When you get the job done on the field, that’s when people will listen to you. That’s how you can earn respect with your teammates.” — Mitchell Moore