Beatty’s Jose Moreno was left stranded on third base at the end of the first inning Thursday.
He made sure it never happened again.
Moreno was 3-for-3 with a double and four runs to help the Hornets defeat Mineral County 12-8 in the opening game of the Class 1A state baseball tournament at Sunrise Mountain.
“Him and (Isaias Flores) pretty much have the green light; they’re like my coaches on the field,” Beatty coach Brian Hayes said. “They know what to do.
“It helps me a lot — I’ll give a sign not to steal, and they’ll go, which makes the other coaches confused at our signs. It’s nice to have them out there.”
Ricardo Pelayo was 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs and pitched three innings of relief for the Hornets, who used a five-run third inning to rally for the victory.
“We came into the game and we’ve had some kids who have been hitting well,” Hayes said. “But they were screaming and yelling in the dugout, and I think it got to our kids a little bit. The guys struggled in the first two innings, and then they did what they needed to do.”
Moreno led off the game with a single, then moved to third on a Mineral County error while he attempted to steal second. But the Serpents got a flyout and two strikeouts to grab the early momentum, stranding Moreno and forcing the Hornets to rally.
“Jose led off with the single, and then he got to third, and they got a little bit quiet,” Hayes said. “Then our best two hitters got out, and I think the momentum shifted for half an inning to their side.”
Mineral County took the lead with three unearned runs in the second inning. Brad Larramendy led off with a single to left-center, then stole second before scoring on an error.
Anthony Guevara walked, stole second and scored on a Beatty error, and Andoni Pittman took advantage of two wild pitches to scratch across a third run for the Serpents.
Moreno doubled to the right corner with one out in the third, then sprinted home on Pelayo’s RBI single, which keyed a string of five straight runs on four hits.
Pelayo, Flores, Ivan Maldonado and Ramon Rodriguez each added a run in the third.
“I just challenged them to hit the ball,” Hayes said. “Make them throw across the plate and give us a chance to get on base. That was the difference.”
Beatty (16-10) will face Pahranagat Valley (24-3) at 10 a.m. today at Sunrise Mountain in the winners’ bracket final.
But the rematch of the 1A Southern Region final wasn’t the Hornets’ focus, Hayes said.
“Our goal today was to play for today,” he said. “A lot of times we come in, and we’ve got guys thinking about the last at-bat or last error. Our motto is play for the moment.”
Maldonado and Pelayo combined on a six-hitter with five strikeouts for Beatty.
Larramendy and Anthony each scored two runs for Mineral County.
Pahranagat Valley 11, Carlin 1 — Kade Wadsworth tossed a two-hitter with six strikeouts as the Panthers routed the Railroaders in five innings.
Kale Leavitt was 2-for-2 with four runs and two stolen bases for Pahranagat Valley, and Cody Hosier went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run.
Derek Hansen added two hits with a double for Pahranagat Valley, which scored in every inning except the second.
Steven Mathews had two doubles and an RBI for Carlin.