Estancia High’s baseball team cranked out 12 hits and took advantage of seven East Mountain errors as the Bears toppled the visiting Timberwolves 13-2 last Saturday in a five inning, mercy-rule shortened game.
“We hit the ball well,” Estancia’s first-year head coach Mark Siedschlag said.
Siedschlag, who spent the previous 19 years coaching at Thoreau High School, noted that he feels the Bears still have “a way to go yet.”
Unless the two teams manage to cross paths in the upcoming Pecos Tournament, Saturday’s game was the only scheduled meeting of the season between the former district rivals.
East Mountain plated an unearned run in the top of the first inning to take a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Alejandro Taylor-Wright reached base on an Estancia error to start the game, and Hunter Harlan’s RBI groundout brought him home.
But after that it was all Estancia.
The Bears sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, as leadoff batter Adam Lujan—in his second at-bat of the frame—drew a bases-loaded walk to cap a 5-run outburst. “We played outstanding today, all of us came out ready to play,” Lujan said.
Lujan, toeing the rubber for the first time this season, started on the mound for Estancia, going three and 1/3 innings and falling victim to 2 unearned runs. He was replaced by Cruz Moreno with one out in the top of the fourth. “I felt good out there,” Lujan said. “It felt like I was back at home.”
Taylor-Wright started on the hill for the T’Wolves and pitched into the third inning before surrendering 11 runs—7 of them earned. He was relieved by John Spanjers.
Spanjers was later relieved by Frank Novak in the bottom of the fourth.
“It was OK at the beginning, and then it just fell apart on us,” Taylor-Wright said. “I felt like I could’ve placed some of my pitches a little better.”
Matthew Urban’s RBI base hit to center field in the second inning scored Gabe Garcia to put the Bears up 6-1.
Harlan hit a two-out liner into the left-centerfield gap for a stand up double in the top of the third inning and later scored on an Estancia error for East Mountain’s second run. “I turned on it and I knew it was gonna drop,” he said.
The Bears responded with five more runs in the bottom of the third when Zeke Tapia smacked an RBI triple, Lujan and Drayton Oberg followed with consecutive RBI Texas-league bloop-singles into shallow center field, and Trevor Noblitt got on base by means of an East Mountain error and eventually scored to give Estancia an 11-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Tapia scored on another T’Wolves error and Lujan came in on Oberg’s RBI groundout.
“We had a lot of defensive miscues,” East Mountain head coach Dave Naylor said. “I really thought it could’ve been, it should’ve been, a seven-inning game, but when you make that many errors, it is what it is.”
Naylor said he’s still trying to move players around in a search for answers as the T’Wolves continue to hunt for their first win of the season. He added that it’s tough not having any seniors on the squad.
“We’re just so limited by options this year,” he said.
Siedschlag admitted that he’s also “trying to figure out who plays where,” but with the Bears sporting a 2-0 record, the new skipper said he likes what he’s seen so far.
“My hope is to play our best game every game and if we do that everything else will fall into place,” Siedschlag said.
Both teams play at the annual Pecos Panther Invitational this weekend, with the Bears squaring off against Questa, and the T’Wolves facing McCurdy in the tournament’s first round games.
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.