After starting its District 4/5-3A schedule undefeated, including consecutive doubleheader sweeps over district foes, East Mountain High School’s baseball team faltered on the road April 16 against district rival Dexter High School.
The Dexter Demons (8-8, 3-2) downed East Mountain 10-0. Timberwolves head coach Dave Naylor said the game was “disappointing after Friday’s victories.”
Naylor was referring to East Mountain’s April 12 doubleheader sweep at home over its district rival, the Sandia Prep Sundevils.
The Timberwolves (11-6, 5-1) braved finger-numbing temperatures and snow flurries to rally in the sixth inning of the first game to win 7-5, followed by a walk-off groundout in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap to win 3-2.
“We were able to put it together in the late innings for both of those [games],” Naylor said. “We got consistently good pitching from basically everybody that was out there, and we got really good fielding.”
During the first game—with snow flurries sprinkling the players—the Sundevils (7-11, 4-2) scored twice in the top of the first inning.
“It was hard to see,” East Mountain catcher Ross Amestoy said. “I had to blink every five seconds.”
Bodie Scranton’s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the second inning scored Garrett Hitchcock for the T’Wolves’ first run.
The Sundevils scored two more runs in the third inning and extended their lead to 5-1 in the fourth.
Cole Phillips and Logan Harlan scored in the bottom of the fifth to trim the margin to 5-3.
East Mountain secured the win with a two-out, 4-run rally in the bottom of the sixth that was helped by a trio of Sandia Prep errors.
In the second game, Tommy Morgan’s first inning groundout to first base drove in Phillips, and Hitchcock followed with an infield hit to drive in Harlan to give East Mountain an early 2-0 advantage.
Morgan, who also pitched the complete game and fanned eight Sundevils, said, “It was really cold, but I’ve pitched in worse.”
Sandia Prep got on the board in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run and tied the game 2-2 in the top of the sixth.
Amestoy led off the bottom of the seventh with a base hit. He advanced to second base on Will Merkey’s single up the middle and went to third on Scranton’s groundout.
Caleb Martin came up and bounced a grounder to the right side of the infield and Amestoy dashed home for the game-winning run.
“I was waiting for [Caleb] to poke it out or go to the right side and get my job done, and he did, so we won it,” Amestory said.
“We were all thinking, one out, send the ball in the opposite direction, just do what we can to win the game,” Martin said.
Following the sweep over the Sundevils, Naylor said the T’Wolves have a set of challenges ahead, noting another game against Dexter and an upcoming twinbill against the New Mexico Military Institute.
After the loss at Dexter, Naylor said the T’Wolves performed poorly and need to play better if they’re serious about contending.
“We need to be consistent,” he said. “Good sometimes simply isn’t great for the game of baseball.”
East Mountain hosts the NMMI Colts (13-5, 3-2) for a district doubleheader April 19.