It’s been a challenging season for Moriarty High School’s baseball team, but the Pintos picked up their third victory June 9 with a 14-5 win over the visiting Pojoaque Valley Elks.

“It was a weird one, it really was,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said of the district win.

Young was alluding to the multiple Moriarty batters who got on base by walks or by getting hit by pitches, and all the base runners who advanced by balks and wild pitches.

After Pojoaque took a 2-0 lead, the Pintos got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when a balk was called on the Elks’ pitcher, sending Bryce Walker home from third base.

Another balk sent Zach Gallegos over to third, and a moment later he raced home on a wild pitch to even the score at 2-2.

“There could’ve been a balk called every time a guy was on base when you think about it,” Young said. “We were putting pressure on [Pojoaque’s pitcher] so we were making them think more about us than what was in front of him—and there you have it.”

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Pojoaque plated three runs in the top of the third, but the Pintos answered with three in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at 5-all.

The Pintos pushed ahead 8-5 in the fourth inning when Amare Gonzales drove in Jose Bailey, Bryan Wright drew a base on balls and later scored on a wild pitch, and Nathan Lipke’s RBI double drove in Chance Rector.

The Pintos broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the sixth, boosted by Wright’s two-RBI double and Rector’s RBI base hit.

Kenneth Poyner and Gallegos split the pitching duties for the Pintos. Poyner started the game and went three innings. Gallegos closed out the final four frames. Gallegos also scored a pair of runs and Poyner scored once.

Amare Gonzales, left, No. 20, Chance Rector, No. 4, and Bryan Wright celebrating after the Pintos’ win over Pojoaque Valley, June 9. Photo by Ger Demarest.

“Kenny came in and gave us his best start of the year, and Zach came in and he put up a zero for, what, four innings? And he got out of a lot of spots,” Young said of Poyner and Gallegos.

Wright and Bailey both scored twice, and Rector scored three times.

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The 14-5 score gave the Pintos their largest margin in a victory this season.

“It is, it absolutely is,” Young said. “And it’s nice because when we went to Pojoaque, there was a lot of talking and chirping from them and stuff like that, so it was nice to come back and get one here.”