ROUND ROCK -- Many have tried, all have failed in their efforts to saddle Hughes Springs junior pitcher Dylan Moore with a loss.

Bangs became Moore's 17th casualty of the season Wednesday afternoon.

The 6-4, 225-pound right-hander ran his record to 17-0 with a dominant performance in No. 1 Hughes Springs' 5-1 win over Bangs in their Class 2A state semifinal at Dell Diamond.

Hughes Springs’s Hunter Smith slides back into second as Bangs’s Cameron Deal waits for the throw in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Round Rock. The Mustangs beat Bangs 5-1 to advance to Thursday’s state championship game. (Travis Harsch,

Moore allowed just three singles, struck out nine and did not allow an earned run in his complete-game effort, which advanced the Mustangs (36-1) to Thursday's state championship game against either Salado or Hallettsville.

“It’s just such a dream to play in this stadium against the best," said Moore. "I just felt good today.”

Hughes Springs also took advantage of seven Bangs (27-9) errors, including four in a four-run third inning that gave the Mustangs a 5-0 lead.

“We saw on our scouting that there was 25 errors on that left side between the third baseman and the shortstop, which is very unusual for a team at the state tournament," said Hughes Springs first-year coach Kent Craig. "We kinda made a commitment, ‘we’re not going to strike out today. Worse-case scenario is you hit a ground ball to shortstop. Or hit a ground ball to third base, and see what happens.'"

Eric Berryhill's first-inning sac fly RBI gave Hughes Springs a 1-0 lead, but the Mustangs took control of the game in the third, scoring four times on four hits with four Bangs errors aiding the cause.

Hughes Springs shortstop Zach Bassham throws to first for an out in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Round Rock. The Mustangs defeated Bangs 5-1 to advance to Thursday’s state championship game. (Travis Harsch,

Trent Shelton beat out an infield hit for an RBI, and Josh Anton came through with an RBI double in the inning. But two errors by the Bangs third baseman, and one apiece by the catcher and shortstop helped Hughes Springs to the big lead.

Bangs pitcher Aaron Keller (10-1) was the tough-luck loser. He allowed five unearned runs on seven hits in six innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

Moore was just a little bit better.

Cameron Deal scored Bangs' lone run on a wild pitch in the fourth. The only other time the Dragons threatened was in the sixth when Keller and Chuy Alvarado reached on consecutive two-out singles. But Moore got Gabe Perez to ground out to first, ending the inning.

“We hit well and capitalized on the errors they made," Moore said. "They’re a great team; they battled with back-to-back singles in the sixth. But everything kinda went together well.”

Moore struck out the first two Bangs batters in the seventh before coaxing Jacob Beckwith into a game-ending grounder.

Moore, who doesn't play in the field, will now watch from the dugout as senior teammate Zach Bassham (13-0) takes to the mound Thursday with a state championship on the line.

“I’m going to be hoping everything goes well for him," said Moore, who threw 91 pitches. "I’m gonna go back to the hotel and ice, and if they need me tomorrow I’ll be ready to go.”


Hughes Springs 5, Bangs 1

Class 2A Semifinal

Dell Diamond, Round Rock

Bangs                    000    100    0    --    1    3    7
Hughes Springs      104    000    x    --    5    7    2

Bangs: Aaron Keller and J.T. Newton. Hughes Springs: Dylan Moore and Chad McKinney.

WP -- Moore (17-0).
LP -- Keller (10-1).

2B -- Hughes Springs: Cody Hawkins, Josh Anton.

Records -- Bangs: 27-9. Hughes Springs: 36-1.

Attendance -- 792.

Hughes Springs players celebrate after a 5-1 win against Bangs in a Class 2A state semifinal Wednesday in Round Rock. (Travis Harsch,