East Mountain’s home run production had been minimal in the first 20 games of the season.
But on April 30, the Timberwolves erupted with an outburst of offense that included seven home runs in a lopsided doubleheader sweep over the visiting Dexter Demons.
The T’Wolves defeated their district rival 26-2 in the first game and 21-4 in the second. Both games ended after the top of the fifth inning on the 10-run mercy rule.
Five separate T’Wolves, including four seniors, hit home runs during the twinbill.
Senior Deshawn Torrez-Griego smacked a grand slam in the first game, followed by junior Trace Krueger. Seniors Cole Phillips and Garrett Hitchcock both homered in Game 2; and senior Garrett Darner pounded three home runs—one in the first game and two in the nightcap. Darner tallied 11 RBIs in the doubleheader.
In Game 1, after Dexter scored a run in the top of the first inning, the T’Wolves set the tone in the home half of the frame by scoring 10 runs. Darner capped the offensive surge with a two-RBI triple down the left-field line.
East Mountain added seven runs in the second inning, fueled by Tristen Nemitz’ RBI double and Darner’s three-RBI double.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Krueger crushed a fastball over the left-field fence and tossed his bat 10 feet in the air.
“I knew it was gone,” Krueger said. “Yeah, I knew it was gone for sure off the bat.”
Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Torrez-Griego hit a missile over the right-field fence for his first-ever high school long ball.
“I didn’t think it was gonna go, I thought it was gonna hit the fence and it just kept continuing to go,” Torrez-Griego said. “It was awesome, my first since Little League.”
Darner hit his first home run of the day in the fourth inning.
The T’Wolves continued their power explosion in Game 2 with 11 runs in the first inning. Phillips hit a two-run home run, Hitchcock uncorked a three-run blast, and Darner added a two-run shot.
Darner tallied his third home run of the day in the second inning as the T’Wolves tacked on 10 more runs.
Darner said it was the first time he’s hit three homers in a day in his high school career.
“The last time I did it I think was 11-U club ball, so it’s been a while,” Darner said.
East Mountain head coach Ray Demarest said scoring early and often helped take the pressure off the team to finish the regular season with an important sweep over a district rival.
“Everything just seemed to go our way,” Demarest said. “Offensively, we were firing on all cylinders, everyone was hitting well, and it just made it easy—we were playing for the seniors today, and for state.”
East Mountain got the No. 5 seed in the upcoming 3A state tournament and hosts No. 12 Hatch Valley on May 6.