After picking up their first win of the season on May 6, a 5-1 victory at home over West Las Vegas, Moriarty High School’s baseball team got upended on May 11 by the visiting Belen Eagles.
Both teams came into the contest with only one win.
The Pintos grabbed an early lead over the Eagles, but a big inning by Belen led to the visitors going home with a 12-3 victory.
“I’m glad that one’s behind us,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said about the loss.
Kenneth Poyner started on the mound for the Pintos and pitched efficiently in the top of the first despite surrendering a run to the Eagles.
After two quick fly ball outs to start the home half of the first inning, the Pintos got on the board with a pair of runs.
Bryan Wright started the two-out rally by drawing a base on balls. With Amare Gonzales at bat, Wright stole second and then advanced to third on a balk. Gonzales drew a base on balls and the Pintos had runners at the corners with Bryce Walker at the plate. Gonzales then attempted to steal second base. Belen’s catcher threw to second to try and nail Gonzales, but he was safe and Wright trotted home on the play for the Pintos’ first run.
Walker then hit a grounder that Belen misplayed, and Gonzales scored to give the Pintos a 2-1 lead.
Moriarty’s lead didn’t last long as Belen roughed up Poyner in the top of the second inning and plated five runs to push ahead 6-2. Chance Rector relieved Poyner on the mound and got the Pintos out of the inning by getting a Belen baserunner out at the plate on an attempted steal of home.
Moriarty got a run in the bottom of the second when Jace McCutcheon drew a lead-off walk and went to second on James Hoy’s single. Jose Bailey then tapped a chopper to Belen’s pitcher. Belen’s pitcher fired to second base and got Hoy out, but on the attempted double play of Bailey, the throw was wild, and McCutcheon scored.
Moriarty got two more runners aboard in the frame, but left the bases loaded when Gonzales flied out to left field.
“That’s what we did all day, we hit the ball in the air,” Young said. “We hit a lot of fly balls and they caught ‘em.”
Belen added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and two more in the seventh.
Young said the Pintos played their best game of the season in a May 1 loss to Sandia Prep, and they played well enough to pick up their inaugural win against West Las Vegas.
But that wasn’t the case against the now 2-9 Eagles.
“Our kids weren’t really ready to play and that’s on me, that’s 100 percent on me,” Young said about the Belen game, adding that he had several players missing due to Covid.
The Pintos start their district games May 15 with a doubleheader at Los Alamos. “Hopefully we can get a split there, if we don’t, we’ll have a big hill to climb,” Young said about the twin bill against the 6-2 Hilltoppers. “We get on the bus at 6:30 [Saturday morning] and go after them.”