Between moments of promising pitching, a flooded infield, a face-covering dust devil, and an infielder suffering a fat lip, Moriarty High’s baseball team got swept in its March 29-30 home series by the visiting New Mexico Military Institute Colts.
The Colts shut out Moriarty in the series finale after winning a mercy-rule shortened blowout and edging the Pintos in the opening game.
“It just wasn’t our weekend,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said. “You’ve gotta be mentally prepared to know the situations and we didn’t play good situational baseball—it’s a direct reflection of our youth and inexperience.”
In a rare three-game weekday series that started last Thursday and concluded with Friday’s doubleheader, the Pintos’ closest shot at victory came in the series opener.
The back-and-forth contest was tied in the early goings—Moriarty even led 4-3 after four innings—before the Colts scored 5 unanswered runs. The Pintos staged a 2-run seventh-inning rally and had the tying runners on base before coming up short.
“That’s one that got away,” Young said.
The second game in the series—the first game in Friday’s doubleheader—was delayed after an irrigation issue left the infield a soggy mess.
The Pintos scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning but the Colts plated 3 runs in the third.
During the third frame, Moriarty third baseman Ian Lipke took a hot-hopping ground ball to his face. The impact pinned his braces into his lower lip and he spent most of the rest of the series holding an ice pack to his mouth.
NMMI scored 4 more runs in the fifth and erupted with 10 runs in the sixth to win 17-2. “There’s not a whole lot you can take away from that,” Young said about the loss.
In the series finale, the Pintos gave up a pair of runs in the first inning and 3 in the second before falling 6-0.
Moriarty junior Ben Mora came in as a relief pitcher and got the Colts to go three-up, three-down in both the sixth and seventh innings.
“Props to Ben,” Young said. “He came in, threw strikes and did his job.”
After the series, Young said the Pintos have some work to do but the coach also sees some opportunities ahead. “There’s some positives to take away from this,” he said. “We’ll head to Ruidoso [for an April 6-7 three-game series] and start over.”
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.