Taft pitcher Will Moore competed for Redding over the summer
When that final game of the regular season rolls around, most people think that is it for a baseball player for several months.
That is not always case like for current Taft College and former Taft High pitcher Will Moore after he competed for the Redding 45’s this past summer.
“It was amazing,” Moore said of the experience. “I learned a lot of stuff on the field and off the field. Just learned literally how to be a better pitcher.”
Moore found out about the Redding Colt 45’s from Cougar coach Chris DeFreece who used to live up there and had some connections.
“He wanted me to get up there and get some more innings,” said Moore.
“It was good to get him up there to play high level baseball,” said Taft head coach Vince Maiocco. “It sounds like he had a great summer.”
Moore didn’t have much time off between the end of his freshman year for Taft College and playing for the Colt 45’s with the Cougars season ending April 29 and the start of the Colt 45’s season getting underway May 24. However, it did not bother Moore.
“It was good because it made me jump into the summer season all ready,” he said. “I like playing like that. It kept me focused.”
One of the learning experiences off the field for Moore was meeting new people.
“It brings you to meet new people,” he said of the experience.
Another thing Moore had to adjust to was going from a small town to a big city. According to cityofredding.org, Redding has a population of 88,000.
“It was a big town and place,” he said. “I had to get used to it.”
Moore also learned not to be stupid and to keep your composure off the field.
During the season, which he got back from this past Saturday, Moore played with players from St. Louis, Sacramento, Texas, Kansas City, Corona, Medford, Oregon, Park City, Utah, Washington, Shawnee, Oklahoma and Rancho Cucamonga according to the Colt 45’s website.
Moore also played against players from Division I schools and places like Utah, Seattle, Kansas State.
“It just showed me I got better competition,” he said.
Despite the players he was going up against, Moore went 2-2 with a 2.58 earned run average over the course of 45 1/3 innings.
In the 10 games he played, Moore also allowed 41 hits, 27 runs (13 earned) while walking 27 batters and striking out 43 batters.
While pitching up in Redding, Moore threw 92 miles per hour.
During his time on the team, Moore had some help with his pitching from Colt 45’s manager Greg Cadaret who was a pitcher for the World champion Oakland Athletics in the 1989 World Series.
“It was just a great experience to listen to him and pick his brain,” Moore said of Cadaret. “He opened my mind up to a lot of things in baseball.”
On the field, Moore picked up a new pitch in the slider while playing for the Colt 45’s.
He was already throwing a four seam fastball and a two seam fastball.
Yet while he was already throwing those two pitches, Moore learned a new grip on the two pitches.
“I know I can go deeper into the game,” he said.
Playing for the Colt 45’s was not the only change Moore experienced this year.
This past spring, Moore started his college campaign by playing for the Taft College baseball team.
Through most of his freshman season playing for the Cougars, Moore was a reliever before becoming a starting pitcher towards the end of the season.
“Being a starter I was in control from the first pitch to the last pitch,” he said.
During the course of that season, Moore went 1-3 overall with a 2.86 earned run average over 34 2/3 innings. He also allowed 24 hits, 12 runs (11 earned), 19 walks while striking out 21 batters.
Going from starting pitcher to reliever was not the only adjustment Moore made from going from high school to playing in college.
“It was a big difference,” he said of the jump to college. “The batting was ridiculous. The whole atmosphere is more professional. “It’s getting to be a business game.”
After playing in the summer league, Maiocco is looking forward to Moore’s sophomore year.
“I am excited about Will having one more year at Taft College,” said Maiocco.
Moore is not sure what his plans for next summer are going to be or where he is going to play after graduating from Taft College. There is one thing he wants to do though.
“I just want to keep getting better and better,” he said.