The senior Marietta pitcher allowed two hits and faced 20 Hillgrove batters through six innings before things began to unravel.
The Hawks hit three singles in their first four at-bats of the seventh and scored two runs, but Moore managed to strand the tying run at third and give the Blue Devils a 3-2 non-region road victory Friday.
Moore earned the complete-game victory for Marietta (4-7) after giving up two runs — one earned — on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He cruised through the first four innings before a rain delay halted play with one out and a runner on first in the top of the fifth.
When play resumed 53 minutes later, Moore returned to the mound and retired the side in the bottom half of the fifth. Hillgrove pinch-hitter Brian Johnson singled to start the sixth, but he was left stranded on third after three straight groundouts.
Tyler Mauzy, who was 2-for-3, and Matthew Vaccaro logged back-to-back singles to begin the Hawks’ bottom of the seventh. After the runners moved to second and third, respectively, on a groundout, Chad Akins’ single advanced Vaccaro to third and plated Mauzy to cut Marietta’s lead to 3-1.
Moore induced another groundout for the second out, but a passed ball allowed Vaccaro to score and moved Adkins, who was the tying run, to third.
Moore, however, struck out the final batter to preserve the victory.
“All I knew I had to do was throw strikes,” Moore said. “It was no big deal or anything. When those first two runs scored and there was another runner on third base, I just knew that I couldn’t let him score. I had to get (the batter) out, and I needed to throw my best, and I did.
“The rain delay always has an effect on people. You get in a rhythm, and the rain can break that. It didn’t bother me that much, though. I just kept needing to keep doing what I was doing and good things were going to happen, and they did.”
Marietta scored twice in the second. Mitchell Lancaster, who was 3-for-3, hit a one-out single and scored on Myles Wilson’s triple. A wild pitch then allowed Wilson to cross the plate for the 2-0 margin.
Dansby Swanson’s solo home run to lead off the third extended Marietta’s advantage to 3-0 — just the edge the Blue Devils needed.
“What’s most refreshing for me is that we’ve had eight one-run games in a row now,” Marietta coach Chris Stafford said, “and to have a three-run cushion early instead of one run — win or loss — was nice. The three-run lead was a nice change.
“Wesley did a great job on the mound. We have a lot of confidence in him. Our pitching all year has given us a chance to win. We just haven’t always had as many productive at-bats as we’ve needed to. Our at-bats were more productive (Friday). We moved some runners around and got some guys across the plate.”
Jake Watkins took the loss for Hillgrove (4-6) after allowing three earned runs on three hits while striking out four in three innings. Justin Haney gave up three hits and had four strikeouts in three innings of relief. Nick Andrews struck out two in the seventh.
“You have to tip your cap to the kid that pitched for Marietta,” Hillgrove coach Dave Richardson said of Moore. “He kept his composure there in the seventh and got the final out.
“This is our fourth loss this season by one run. Just doing little things in critical situations, whether it’s in the first inning or the seventh, are very important.”