If you step into the batter’s box against either the Spanish Fork baseball or softball teams, be warned: There is a Pintar hoping you’ll hit the ball to short.
After all, senior Andrew “Pinny” Pintar and sophomore Brooklyn “Broccoli” Pintar need every chance they can get to ensure their sibling doesn’t get a statistical advantage.
“We push each other to be better,” Andrew Pintar said. “She keeps me on the ball. We’re always trying to be better than each other average-wise and in home runs. She’s got more home runs than me this year but that’s how softball is.”
The talented Pintar brother and sister duo both have established themselves as rising stars for the Dons.
Not only are they starters at the most important defensive position on the diamond for their respective teams, they are also lethal at the plate with tremendous drive and athleticism.
“I grew up watching Andrew play baseball,” Brooklyn Pintar said. “I would try to field like he did and I learned a lot from him. He’d hit grounders to me and I learned how to field them. He’s had a huge impact on how I play.”
Andrew Pintar said having a practice partner in the family helped him get better as well.
“It’s nice because I have someone to work with all the time,” he said. “We go to the ballpark together and one of us would play first while the other played short. Then we would switch off. It’s great to have someone where you can work together and teach each other new things.”
They are also both extremely competitive, a fact that played a part in getting both to the same position in 2019.
Brooklyn Pintar has played a variety of positions in the infield, including being a catcher. This year, however, she was somewhat limited in her options due to an accident.
“We got in an argument in our living room and started racing,” Brooklyn Pintar said. “I hit a light that broke and cut my hand, including cutting a tendon. I’m slowly regaining full motion but I tease my brother about that.”
The Don softball team needed a shortstop and head coach Don Andrews knew Brooklyn Pintar would be up to the task.
“She has improved by leaps and bounds at short,” Andrews said. “Some college, as soon as they figure it out, is going to get a good player.”
She’s following in the footsteps of her brother, who also moved positions. Spanish Fork baseball coach Casey “Gub” Nelson said Andrew Pintar was at second base before making the transition to short.
“He’s a three-year starter who started on runner-up team in 2017,” Nelson said. “Short is his natural position. The kid has worked extremely hard to be player he is. He gained 30 or 40 pounds in last two years, a lot of it in the weight room. He’s very competitive and wants to be good.”
Nelson said the senior brings versatility, experience and leadership to the Don baseball team.
“I challenged all the seniors this year to teach the younger kids the ropes,” Nelson said. “He’s taken that role and done a great job with it. He’s actually a very quiet kid, kind of reserved, who leads by example. But the kids know he has something important to say when he speaks up because they know he has been in the fire.”
Brooklyn Pintar isn’t quite to that level as a sophomore but Andrews said she has an impressive upside.
“If her brain grows into her body, she’s going to be scary,” the Spanish Fork softball coach said. “It hasn’t happened yet but she’s getting there. She can play any position on the field.”
Andrews grinned as he described Brooklyn Pintar as one of his favorite “tease-ees” on the team because she takes it really well.
Brooklyn Pintar said the fact that Andrews always calls her by her nickname, “Broccoli” (which started when someone mispronounced Brooklyn) makes the teasing easier to handle.
“I can’t take him seriously when he says ‘Broccoli,’” Brooklyn Pintar said.
Andrew Pintar, however, said the teasing doesn’t go quite as well when you are the older brother instead of the coach.
“With me, she doesn’t really take it,” Andrew Pintar said. “She always comes back at me. With siblings, it’s different.”
Even though she might always be ready to compete with her brother or tease him back, Brooklyn Pintar is obviously proud of what Andrew Pintar has accomplished.
“Having him sign to play baseball at BYU, that was huge,” Brooklyn Pintar said. “It’s going to be weird next year when he’s gone. It’s good he’ll be close to home but it’s been fun to be in high school together.”
Nelson believes that the Cougars are going to be fortunate when they realize what they have in the Don shortstop.
“I don’t think BYU even knows the type of player they are getting with Andrew,” Nelson said. “He’s going to give them a lot of depth and he is versatile. He pitches for us and would do it more except we need him at shortstop. He’s working 85-to-90 miles per hour off the mound, so they are looking forward to letting him do both.”
Both of the Pintar siblings understand that they are still refining their games in their respective sports — but both feel they need to get better in the same area.
“It’s about the mental side,” Andrew Pintar said. “She has it all but once she gets the mental side, she’ll be very good. I also need to step my mental game. That’s what is going to take me to the next level right there.”
The older brother said it’s also been really cool to watch his little sister develop.
“I’ve watched her since she was little,” Andrew Pintar said. “She’s tall and biggest out there, so it’s been great watching her and seeing how she does in her games. She has a lot of talent, so that’s really cool.”
Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.