Moriarty’s Bryan Wright pitched into the seventh inning and helped his cause by scoring four runs, Asaiah Kamplain, fresh off winning a wrestling state title, played in his first-ever high school baseball game, and the Pintos edged the Taos Tigers 8-7 at home on June 2.
It was Moriarty’s second win of the season.
“We survived, we outlasted Taos, oh my goodness,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said.
Moriarty committed multiple miscues on defense throughout the matchup and the Pintos saw their four-run lead nearly slip away in the final inning.
But a defensive gem secured the win.
In the top of the seventh, Taos scored three runs to trim Moriarty’s lead to 8-7.
Then, with the tying run on third base, Moriarty shortstop Chance Rector reached down and made a shoestring catch on a stinging line drive for the final out.
“Yeah, I didn’t know if it was gonna get to me before it hopped, but I got it and I looked at the umpire and told him ‘I got it,’” Rector said. “We had two outs, I caught that last one, and it felt good to finally get a win.”
The Pintos scored twice in the first inning after Wright reached on a walk and then went to second on Rector’s ground ball to third that Taos threw into right field on an attempted force out on Wright.
Wright then stole third and later scored on a passed ball during Amare Gonzales’ at-bat. Gonzales’ RBI single drove in Rector.
In the second inning, Wright drove in James Hoy with a base hit, and then stole second and third. Rector reached on a base on balls, and then he stole second. When the throw from Taos’ catcher went to second base to try and nail Rector, Wright trotted home. Rector was safe on the play and later scored on Gonzales’ double for a 5-0 lead. Gonzales had two RBIs in the game.
After Taos plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning, Wright scored again when he was attempting to steal third base and the throw sailed down the left field line.
An error and a bases-loaded walk allowed Taos to score two more runs in the top of the fifth.
In the sixth, Wright scored once again on a passed ball and Bryce Walker drove in Gonzales, upping the Pintos’ lead to 8-4.
“Yeah, I was just trying to get into scoring position, cuz I mean, that’s how we’re gonna score, if I steal bags, ya know what I mean? Gotta do it,” Wright said.
With one out in the seventh, Wright loaded up the bases and was relieved on the mound by Walker. Walker gave up a two-RBI base hit and a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game.
“I think Bryan did an outstanding job on the mound,” Young said. “We scored just one more run than the other guys, but I guess that’s all it takes, right?”
“We were up by four and we needed something, bases came loaded, but I had faith in us,” Rector added about holding on for the victory.
“It’s been a minute since we won a game, but everyone was clicking and we didn’t let the errors get us down,” Wright said. “We pulled out the W, so it was nice.”
Kamplain, who won the state wrestling title last week, was appearing in his first baseball game since eighth grade.
“I didn’t until yesterday,” Kamplain said about playing on the Pintos baseball team. “I had some extra time cuz track was in quarantine, so, here I am.”