EDWARDSVILLE - Baseball infielder and outfielder Hayden Moore, who was a key player for Edwardsville's 2019 IHSA Class 4A championship team, officially signed his letter of intent to attend Missouri State University in Springfield in a ceremony Monday afternoon at the high school.

Moore will be playing for head coach Keith Guttin and assistant coach Paul Evans, a native of Granite City, for the Bears, who compete in a very good Missouri Valley Conference. Moore is looking ahead to the challenge and chose Missouri State for a number of reasons.

"It was a great feeling, it was close to home," Moore said during a post-ceremony interview. "And when you have an offer from the organization there, I said 'it's all mine.' It's everything I believe in, and I'm just excited to be there for the next three to four years, and it's a perfect fit for me and my family."

Moore, who competed this fall on the Tigers' golf team, had a great year in 2019 in helping the Tigers to the state championship. He hit .377 with four home runs and 25 RBIs, third most on the team that year. His also had an on-base percentage of .542, with four triples, and stole 26 bases. The 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Moore did play for the Tigers in a 5-1 win over Granite City in the Gateway Grizzlies' Sandlot Series game June 30 in Sauget.

Moore plans on majoring in business at Missouri State, and also entertained offers from major baseball schools such as Mississippi, Mississippi State and Virginia. But from the outset, his focus was on Missouri State, and he was very confident that he would be able to sign and play for the Bears.

"Definitely the organization, and I think it was my best opportunity to play as early as I can," Moore said. "And I'm excited. Coach Guttin is a great guy, and I really wanted to play under him, and hope he stays a little longer, and I'm excited."

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Colin Feeney also contributed to this story

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