Moore continues impressive start, Katy rolls to 17th straight 19-6A win
KATY—In his first varsity start this season against Fort Bend Austin, Katy High junior Lucas Moore pitched a perfect game, striking out nine in a run-rule 10-0 win in five innings. While it may be difficult to keep going up from there, Moore is certainly trying his hardest.
The precocious right-hander was again strong Friday in a battle of two of the region’s top teams. The Tigers bested Cinco Ranch, 4-1, at home in a District 19-6A affair, scoring three runs on two errors in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie, to go to 14-4 overall, 2-0 in district play.
Moore has been a revelation for the Tigers this season. Against a potent Cinco Ranch lineup, he threw a complete game, surrendering one run on two hits while striking out six and walking three.
“It’s really my defense behind me,” Moore said. “They’re making excellent plays. I feel like the team is really backing up each other, and our bats are starting to get hot when we need them the most.”
Moore is commanding the zone impressively with all three of his pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup. His fastball consistently hits 87-88 miles per hour, tops out at 89. His off-speed stuff is exceptional.
Friday, Moore was able to get a feel for when to place his fastball up in the zone when necessary.
“He’s pitched against some good teams and has looked good,” Katy coach Tom McPherson said. “He’s doing a good job getting all his pitches off. They’ve got a bunch of left-handers in there and Lucas is able to throw to left-handers probably better than anyone on our team. He’s got good movement, able to throw his changeup and two-seamer. He’s looked pretty good all year long.”
Moore is 3-0 this season with one save. He has 23 strikeouts to eight walks in 19 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and four runs. He has a .095 batting-average against and a 1.4 earned-run average.
Against Cinco Ranch, Moore allowed a single to Texas A&M commit Blake Hansen in the first inning and a single to Connor Ficcara in the second. Over the final five innings, the Cougars, who entered the game averaging 7.1 runs per game, grounded out five times and had short pop fly-outs twice.
“As the game went on, they really struggled against my changeup,” Moore said. “A lot of pop flies. A lot of ground balls. A lot of weak contact. For the most part, just pound them with the changeup, and with the righties throw curveballs early in the count to get ahead and then get my fastball through them.”
Moore said the transition from junior varsity to varsity has been interesting.
“The atmosphere up here at varsity is a lot better,” he said. “The defense is a lot better. I trust everybody behind me so much more than I ever have, pitch more to contact instead of just strike everybody out.”
The win was Katy’s 17th consecutive district win. The Tigers are reigning undefeated 19-6A champs.
Katy returned four starters this season to the lineup. Following the graduation of ace Caleb Matthews, it needed to find more quality pitching. Moore has provided that.
“We kind of play to our competition and we’ve got to keep (their play) up,” McPherson said. “I expect us to be in the hunt. But we can’t let off. Everybody in this league can beat you. We’re right where we need to be, we just need to keep going up.”