The day after a tough loss to district rival Sandia Prep, East Mountain rebounded with an 8-2 win over the Santa Rosa Lions.

Both games were on the Timberwolves’ home field at the Vista Grande Community Complex in Sandia Park.

East Mountain set the tone early in the June 16 game against Santa Rosa, scoring three runs in the first inning.

Garret Darner’s RBI-double drove in Ross Amestoy to uncork a 1-0 lead. Darner later scored on a passed ball, and Garret Hitchcock came home during Deshawn Torrez-Griego’s RBI-groundout.

In the second inning, Darner’s two-RBI base hit to right field drove in Amestoy and Cole Phillips, extending the T’Wolves’ lead to 5-0.

Santa Rosa got on the board with a run in the third.

The T’Wolves added three more runs in the fourth inning. Cooper Davis led off the frame with a double to left field, Jake McFall walked, and Amestoy got hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Bryson Naylor’s bloop to shallow center field drove in Davis, and Darner drove in McFall with a base hit. Amestoy capped the scoring when he ran in from third base on a poorly thrown pickoff attempt by Santa Rosa’s pitcher.

Darner tallied four RBIs in the game. Amestoy scored three runs.

With the win, the T’Wolves improved to 10-5 overall, 6-4 in district.

East Mountain head coach Ray Demarest used five different pitchers against Santa Rosa. He also utilized several different position players due to the fatigue from the previous day’s grueling 9-2 loss to Sandia Prep.

“They all were tired from yesterday, that was a long taxing game for everybody, and they gave it everything they had,” Demarest said. “We did what we had to do today, and after playing a long, tough game yesterday and losing, it was as good as I could’ve expected.”

The June 15 matchup against the top-ranked Sandia Prep Sundevils was disrupted right off the bat by an hour-plus lightning delay in the first inning.

Sandia Prep pitted its ace senior pitcher, Isaac Horstman, against the T’Wolves’ Trace Krueger.

Both starting pitchers went toe-to-toe with the game remaining scoreless through the first three innings.

The Sundevils struck first with a run in the top of the fourth.

East Mountain answered in the bottom of the frame when Kreuger drove in Amestoy with a base hit to right field.

The T’Wolves took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when Amestoy hit a fly ball into the Sandia Park jet stream that dropped untouched in shallow right field between three orbiting Sundevils, scoring McFall from second base.

Sandia Prep regained the lead with two runs in the sixth. One of those runs came on an East Mountain error during a pickoff attempt at first base.

During the frame, Sandia Prep’s head coach got ejected from the game, handing the skipper duties to Sundevils assistant coach Dave Naylor.

East Mountain’s Garrett Darner scooting safely across home plate during the first inning of the T’Wolves’ win over Santa Rosa, June 16. Photo by Ger Demarest.

Naylor is East Mountain’s former athletic director and head baseball coach. He coached Demarest for four years from 2008-2012.

“It’s different,” Naylor said about taking over the skipper duties on his old stomping grounds against his former player and team, adding, “It was a good game—hopefully we’ll see them again [in the state tournament] on UNM’s field.”

The game got away from the T’Wolves in the seventh inning when the Sundevils plated six runs. Horstman pitched the complete game, giving up just three hits while fanning 12 T’Wolves batters.

“We played them really tough for six innings and we had ‘em through five,” Demarest said. “Trace pitched a helluva a game, he was dealing, but you know, Horstman is one of the best pitchers in the state. We played well, they played better.”

East Mountain wraps up its regular season with a doubleheader at Dexter on June 15.