Moore commits to Murray, Wiley to Bellarmine

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By Josh Cook

Shelby County senior Kipp Moore and Collins senior Zac Wiley, who next spring should be two of the best baseball players in the 8thRegion as well as the state, decided their college futures earlier this week.

Moore, a shortstop/catcher/pitcher for the Rockets, has committed to Murray State University, and  Wiley, a third baseman/catcher/pitcher for the Titans, has committed to Bellarmine University.

Moore, who committed Tuesday, chose the Racers over Bellarmine and the University of Cincinnati.

“I was just real comfortable on the campus,” said Moore, who attended the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program at Murray State for five weeks this past summer. “Plus I liked the opportunity to get to play early.”

Last season Moore hit .357 with a .529 on-base percentage, a .592 slugging percentage and a team-best on-base plus slugging percentage (1.121) as Shelby County went 24-10-1, losing to Spencer County in the 30th District Tournament semifinals. He had 35 hits, including 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs.

Moore also led the Rockets in runs scored (47), walks (26) and stolen bases (34 in 35 attempts). A right-hander on the mound, he went 5-1 with a 1.80 earned-run average and a 0.886 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched. Moore gave up 19 hits, 18 runs (nine earned), walked 12 and struck out 39 in 35 innings.

The Racers went 21-33 last season, including 9-21 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Earlier this week Murray State, which went 17-13 at home last year, had a ceremonial ground breaking on the first phase of improvements to its Reagan Field.

Moore, who said Murray coaches have told him he’ll likely play shortstop, or another infield position, plans to major in criminal justice.

Wiley, who committed Sunday, chose Bellarmine over Kentucky, Murray, Eastern Kentucky, Centre, the University of the Cumberlands and a couple of junior colleges.

“As soon as I went down there, I fell in love with the coaches and the campus,” he said of the Louisville school. “It’s a smaller school. I wanted that, but it’s a smaller school in a big city, so it really doesn’t feel that small.

“[Plus] the education is really good and with their athletic program they’ve got really good momentum with their [men's] basketball team and baseball team.”

Last season Wiley hit .321 with a .454 on-base percentage and team bests in slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (1.032) for the Titans, who went 33-7, captured their first 8th Region title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the State Tournament.

He struck out only six times in 135 plate appearances and had 35 hits, including eight doubles, a team-high seven triples, two home runs and a team-best 37 RBIs. He also had a team-high 22 walks, 27 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.

On the mound, the lanky right-hander was 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA, giving up 36 hits, 20 runs (10 earned) and walked 23 in 33.2 innings.

Wiley said the Bellarmine coaches have talked to him about playing shortstop, a corner outfield position and first base, as well as pitching.

The Knights went 33-23 last season, including 20-13 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Bellarmine had a very successful postseason, winning the GLVC Tournament – its first title since 1989 – and advancing to the championship game of the NCAA Division II Midwest Region. The Knights, though, fell one game short of the D-II College World Series, losing, 6-3, to Grand Valley State.

Bellarmine, which also is improving its facilities, has a new head coach, Larry Owens, a former coach for the Chicago White Sox, and a new assistant coach, Terry Davis, a graduate of Spencer County High School.