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Mary Persons ace Trippe Moore verbally committed to play college baseball at UGA on Wednesday, nearly two months after backing off a previous pledge to sign with Georgia Tech. (Photo/Richard Dumas)

Nearly one year to the day after he pledged his commitment to play college baseball at one in-state power, Mary Persons senior standout Trippe Moore has decided to switch his allegiance to another high-profile in-state program.

Moore, the reigning Region 2-AAAA Player of the Year, gave a verbal commitment on Wednesday, Sept. 4 to play college baseball at the University of Georgia, an opportunity Moore called “a dream come true.” The move came 366 days after Moore initially verbally committed to Georgia Tech on Sept. 3, 2018.

The dual-threat Moore excelled both on the mound and in centerfield for the MP Bulldogs in 2019, leading Mary Persons to its first region baseball championship since 2011 while also being part of a squad that set a new program single-season wins record with 25.

In 2019, Moore set a new school pitching record for single-season wins with 10 while also breaking school records for E.R.A. (1.01) and strikeouts (98). At the plate, Moore batted .407 while leading the Bulldogs in homers with seven and finishing second in RBIs with 33. As an outfielder, Moore set a new single-season school record for assists with 10 while tying the program single-season stolen base record with 18.

But following Moore’s dream high school campaign, a major personnel change occurred at Tech. Jason Howell, Tech’s longtime recruiting coordinator and pitching coach, left the Yellow Jackets’ baseball staff in early July in what was termed a mutual parting. Upon Howell’s exit, Moore re-opened his recruitment and took several campus visits.

About one month ago, Moore took a campus trip to Athens with his father Eddie. During an hour-and-a-half long meeting with Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin and Bulldogs’ assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator Scott Daeley, Moore received a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs, a “dream come true” for the lifelong UGA fan. After weighing his options for several weeks, Moore decided on Wednesday to make his UGA commitment official.

Moore said the UGA offer came after he spent a successful week in Hoover, Ala., during the first week of August playing in the prestigious East Coast Pro Showcase as a member of the Brewers’ squad, which featured rising amateur stars from Georgia and North Florida. Moore said he received an invite in July from Milwaukee Brewers’ area scout Steve Smith to play in the tournament, which Moore likened to a week in the Minor Leagues.

“We got to stay in the Hyatt hotel in Birmingham, and we got all of our meals paid for,” Moore said. “The hotel was nice. And everything was sponsored by Adidas. We got gloves, bats, cleats, all kinds of stuff.”

Moore said it was a tough decision to de-commit from Georgia Tech, particularly in that it left him without a college home for several months. But he said when Georgia gave him an offer, it was one he couldn’t refuse.

“When Georgia gave me that opportunity, I was just so thankful because that’s where I’ve always wanted to be my entire life,” Moore said. “I’ve always wanted to play under the lights at Foley Field one day, and I’m finally going to get that opportunity. I’m just really thankful for Coach Stricklin and Coach Daeley for giving me this opportunity. And thank you to God for showing me where I need to be.”

After nearly a decade-long lull, the Bulldogs have had back-to-back banner seasons under Stricklin in 2018 and 2019, qualifying for the NCAA tournament both years as a Top 8 national seed. Moore said he plans to play outfield initially in college with hopes of becoming a two-way player later in his career.

But Moore has some unfinished business to complete at MP before he starts his UGA career. He said his most important goal for his final season in 2020 is for his high school Bulldogs to win their second straight region crown.

“I have personal goals, but the biggest goal is to get Coach Mathis his second region championship,” Moore said. “That means a lot here at Mary Persons. We won the first region championship in eight years here last year, and if we could go back-to-back, that would be huge for our team and our program.”