Big Changes for Moore

There is a big difference between Lucas Moore a year ago and now.

“Last summer I was average,” the sophomore-to-be at Badin said. “The biggest problem stopping me from playing at the next level was my arm. I was at 72 from the outfield in mid-summer.

“But this offseason I long tossed and did everything I could to get my arm stronger and I touched 80 recently. I also ran a 6.5 at a showcase. Last summer I was seven flat.”

With speed and arm improving to go along with a solid left-handed bat, the 5-11 160-pounder started gaining interest once this summer came along.

“The first college I talked to was UC,” Moore said of Cincinnati this past June. “I played in a PBR tourney in Columbus and was on the phone with (assistant coach) JD Heilmann.”

Georgia Tech, Michigan, Campbell and Mississippi were others that communicated with the Badin 2023 outfielder, but Kentucky also was in the picture.

“My summer coach has a good connection with (assistant) coach (Will) Coggin,” noted Moore, who did a camp at UK after last summer season. “He recruited my summer coach when he played. I played well in my first tournament this summer and was on the phone with (head) coach (Nick) Mingione four days later.”

An offer came soon after.

“I’ve talked to a few other schools before Kentucky, but what stood out was how coach Coggin dealt with the phone call,” Moore related. “I could tell what he was trying to do, he was trying to get to know me.”

The Kentucky recruiting coordinator obviously liked what he discovered.

“They like my confidence when I play,” Moore said. “They also like my aggressiveness on the bases.”

Suddenly an improved Moore was on the path to the big-time in college baseball.

“Last summer I didn’t think I could play at a place like Kentucky,” Moore admitted. “But this year I started talking to a lot of big colleges and I’m thinking this is going to happen.”

A commitment to the Southeastern Conference school made it reality.

“This is huge,” Moore said of the opportunity to play at Kentucky. “I knew as soon as I started looking at colleges I wanted to play SEC baseball. It’s the most competitive baseball conference in the country.”

Making the decision admittedly took some consideration.

“We got a bunch of different opinions on this, but the big thing for me and my family to commit this early was to ‘get it out of the way’ so I can just play and have fun,” Moore related. “What Kentucky did for me is huge right now. I had to jump on that opportunity so I didn’t lose it later on.”

Moore – who credits summer coach Ryan Arrington for “helping develop me the last six years into the player I am today” along with his parents “for pushing me to an unreal level” – understands improvement is vital.

“I need to be able to lock in and stay locked in every inning of a game,” Moore explained. “Sometimes I start getting a little lazy. To play in the SEC you have to do everything right for every inning of every game.”

That is necessary if future goals are to be reached.

“I want to win a national championship and with my recruiting class and those above me we can do something big at Kentucky,” noted Moore, a 3.6 student who is undecided on a major at this point in time.

Big aspirations in deed for a player who just a short time ago was not even in contact with any college at the next level.

“I wasn’t worried about it, I knew my time was coming,” Moore said. “I’d just finished my freshman year.”

With his arm on the rise and speed getting better, Moore was soon getting looks in the recruiting process.

“I like how open all the coaches were that I talked to,” Moore said about his recruitment. “They weren’t scared to tell the truth about their program. They were honest with you. You’re not just going to walk in and play.”

Through hard work ahead, Moore now looks forward to getting on the field at Kentucky and facing the challenges of playing in the SEC.

“This is amazing,” Moore said. “When he told me he wanted to offer me to play at Kentucky it didn’t even take two days to tell him I wanted to play for him. I can’t wait.”

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