Moriarty High’s baseball team got a much-needed lift last weekend with a 13-5 pasting over Sandia Prep on Friday, followed by a doubleheader sweep over the visiting Bernalillo Spartans on Saturday.
Moriarty beat the Spartans 8-5 in the first game, and then broke out the brooms with a walk-off hit that scored the winning run in the nightcap.
“We needed it, we’ll take it,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said after the twin bill sweep.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and the score tied 3-3, Ethan Tolleson drove in Antonio Dennison for the 4-3 victory.
Dennison walked to start the inning and then stole second base. After the next two Pintos struck out, Tolleson slapped a ground ball to the left side of the infield. Bernalillo’s pitcher and third baseman nearly collided trying to field the grounder, and when the throw to first base got away from the Spartans first baseman, Young waved his arm like a windmill and yelled to Dennison, “Go! Go! Go!”
Dennison scampered home, stomped on the dish and was swarmed by his teammates. “I remembered there were two down, and I heard coach so I just tried to run as hard as I could,” Dennison said. “After I saw him miss [the ball] at first base I knew I could make it.”
Young described the grounder as a swinging bunt and Tolleson said it was kind of a check-swing tapper. Either way, it caught the Spartans off guard. “We scored on the error but [Tolleson’s] infield single is what created the chaos,” Young said.
Elijah Tapia went the distance on the mound and struck out six Bernalillo batters. He got the Pintos on the board in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI double. “He was in control,” Young said of Tapia’s pitching. “And the guys made plays behind him.”
Two defensive plays Moriarty didn’t make—a throwing error to third base, and an attempted force out at home that wasn’t in time—allowed Bernalillo to take a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
In the bottom half of the frame, Tolleson hit an RBI single to drive in J.P. Carmona, and Tapia drove in Tolleson to tie the game.
Tapia kept the Spartans at bay after that.
“I just tried to put the ball over the plate,” Tapia said. “I knew I had to dig deep and not let anyone score.” Tolleson and Tapia each had two RBIs.
In the first game, Moriarty plated 3 runs in the first inning, 3 in the second, and another in the third. “We came out and struck the heck out of the ball—put up seven runs in the first three innings,” Young said.
Julius Giron started on the mound, striking out four Bernalillo batters while giving up just three hits in six innings of work. Troy Batie fanned one batter in his one inning of relief.
“Our pitching was good in the first game too,” Young said. “Julius came out and did a good job, Troy came in and got a save, it was outstanding.” In Friday’s win over Sandia Prep, Giron had four hits and five RBIs, and Tolleson drove in 3 runs.
The Pintos are now riding a four-game winning streak—their first streak of the season—and Young is hopeful for the rest of the schedule. “We haven’t peaked yet,” the coach said. “We’ve got some stuff to work on, but we’re getting better, that’s all there is to it.”
The Pintos travel to district-rival Portales on Thursday for a three-game series.
For additional photos, see the story online at edgewood.news.