Moriarty senior Troy Batie said he’d never won the first game of the season, but he helped lift the Pintos to victory in his team’s March 3 home opener against the Valencia Jaguars.

The hard-throwing right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, scattering a pair of hits while striking out five Valencia batters in the Pintos’ 4-1 win.

“I felt good, I felt confident, I felt like I was on my game,” Batie said. “It’s nice to start off with a positive.”

“He was outstanding,” Moriarty head coach Denny Young said of Batie. “He kept a pretty good team off balance today.”

Moriarty baseball

Nathan Lipke letting a low pitch go by, March 3. Photo by Ger Demarest.

The Pintos broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning when Michael Pisz stole third base, and as he was sliding into the bag, the throw from Valencia’s catcher was high and sailed down the left field line. Pisz scored on the error.

“I just heard, ‘Go! Go! Go!’ so I just got up and started running,” Pisz said. He stole three bases in the game and scored twice for the Pintos.

Moriarty added two more runs in the fourth inning when Justin Carmona drove in eighth-grader Amare Gonzales with a ground ball that Valencia’s third baseman misplayed, and Batie drove in Pisz with a base hit.

The Pintos scored their fourth run in the sixth when Julian Encinias got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in Carmona.

“The win is nice, I mean, Valencia’s a very good program,” Young said. “Our pitching did a nice job, we played really well behind them, good effort by everybody—it’s a total team win.”