Outside the Lines: Moore a loyal player on and off the field

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Almost anyone you ask will define University of Montevallo center fielder Eric Moore by his speed or dedication. But another definition might be loyalty.

Head coach Greg Goff values his ability to cover the outfield, whether that means diving into a wall or running things over to catch a fly ball.

The same fearlessness of the field allows this ball magnet of a hitter to stand on the plate and get plunked 27 times for a new single season school record, which helps add to his .463 on base percentage and 26 stolen bases.

However, Moore&8217;s value to this year&8217;s team goes beyond statistics. He lives up to his name, always giving an extra effort on the field, even showing up when they do not expect him to.

On Friday, March 23, Moore and his teammates were getting ready for their second Gulf South Conference series of the season with eventual East Division Champion University of West Alabama. However, Moore would not take the field that Saturday, because he would be at home with his family after finding out about his father&8217;s death in an automobile accident near Corinth, Miss. that Friday night

After the Falcons dropped both games of the Saturday doubleheader without one of their leadoff men, Moore called teammate Chris Cooper to let Goff know he&8217;d be back for Sunday&8217;s game.

&8220;It was more or less my mom&8217;s decision, and I know my dad would have never wanted me to miss that Saturday doubleheader. Getting swept really hurt us a little bit, and I wasn&8217;t going to let that happen again,&8221; Moore said.

He returned to go 1-for-4 with a run scored and helped his team to a 12-1 win to avoid a sweep.

&8220;I think me just coming, inspired the team a little bit,&8221; said Moore who went on to stretch a 13-game hit streak following the accident.

Just this past week he was 7-for-17, including an inside-the-park home run to close the regular season.

He hopes to help UM to their first-ever GSC Championship when tournament play begins Saturday at USA Stadium, just outside of Memphis, where his father worked.

&8220;He kept up with me every day and was very proud of me,&8221; Moore said. &8220;I know he&8217;s with me every time I take a swing or make a throw now.&8221;