After dropping all three games at the Farmington Invitational, March 5-7, including a loss to Manzano High, Moriarty High School’s baseball team looked to get back on track March 10 at home against the Hope Christian Huskies.
But the Pintos (1-4) fell behind early and couldn’t get their bats working until late in the game and the Huskies went home with a 5-3 victory.
It was the Pintos’ fourth consecutive loss.
Hope’s starting pitcher Tyson Vigil shut down Moriarty’s batters through 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight. He didn’t give up a hit until the sixth.
“He was good, he had good velo,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said of Vigil.
Moriarty’s only base runners though the first five innings got on by walks or hit-by-pitches.
“Their pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance,” Moriarty senior Troy Batie said.
Batie started on the mound for the Pintos and gave up a run in the first inning and two more in the second. Justin Carmona relieved Batie and pitched the rest of the game.
Hope, with three players from the East Mountains—Evan Bagon, Jake Weber, and Mateo Ruiz—added two more runs in the fourth to go up 5-0.
Moriarty got on the board in the sixth inning when Michael Pisz hit a hot grounder that Hope’s third baseman couldn’t handle, and Carmona followed with a ground ball that ricocheted off second base. Batie then hit a grounder that got past Hope’s second baseman to drive in Pisz.
With Julian Encinias coming up to bat for Moriarty, Hope replaced Vigil on the mound with Ruiz. Carmona then scored on a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
In the seventh inning, Shea Penny came in to pinch-hit for Chance Rector and sliced a base hit down the left field line. Rector came back in to run in place of Penny and later scored on Pisz’ base hit.
“He got it done,” Young said of Penny, “And we used Chance’s legs to get a run.”
Despite the loss, Young said he liked how the Pintos didn’t give up after falling behind.
“We got better at the end,” Young said. “We started whittling away and gave ourselves an opportunity in the sixth and seventh to actually make something happen.”
The Pintos were scheduled to host Bernalillo for a doubleheader March 14, but the game was canceled.
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.