Win one, lose two has been the theme thus far in East Mountain High School’s baseball season, and after dropping both ends of last Saturday’s doubleheader to the visiting West Las Vegas Dons, Timberwolves head coach Dave Naylor said he’s looking for some consistency from his team.
“Consistency is what we’re after and I didn’t see that today,” Naylor said of the 9-0 and 11-2 sweep at the hands of the Dons.
East Mountain pitcher John Spanjers started the first game and cruised through the first two innings—striking out the side in the first frame and sending the Dons down in order in the second.
“He came out strong,” Naylor said of Spanjers’ first two innings.
But a pair of defensive errors combined with a couple of wild pitches led to four West Las Vegas runs in the third inning. The Dons added another run in the fourth and tacked on three more in the fifth. Another error led to their final run in the seventh.
“I’m going to take a lot of the blame for this one,” Spanjers said. “Errors are going to happen, that’s baseball, but I feel like my pitching went downhill—I started giving them pitches they could hit, then we just couldn’t get out of the hole.”
Alejandro Taylor-Wright started on the mound for East Mountain in the second game and surrendered four straight hits—one an RBI double—in the 3-run first inning.
West Las Vegas went up 5-0 in the second inning.
A trio of errors in the top of the fifth led to five more runs for the Dons to put them ahead 10-0.
“I feel like I was a little off,” Taylor-Wright said. “I left a lot of my pitches over the plate, and my control wasn’t there.”
Offensively, East Mountain struggled against West Las Vegas’ Santiago Mondragon, who struck out nine T’Wolves.
“We just weren’t consistently keeping our head on the ball,” Naylor said. “We’re looking at strikes and swinging at balls, and when we do get something right we’re not running hard—it makes it difficult to get through two seven-inning games.
The T’Wolves did manage to get their lead-off batter aboard in several innings, but they couldn’t get them home until the bottom of the fifth when Taylor-Wright hit an RBI double into the left-centerfield gap to score Marcel Benavides. Taylor-Wright came in when Dominik Chavez beat out an infield single.
One of East Mountain’s brighter spots defensively came in the third inning when West Las Vegas had runners at first and third base. The Dons’ runner at first base took off, attempting to steal second, and their runner at third started for home. T’Wolves catcher Hunter Harlan jumped up, appearing to try and gun the runner down at second base, but instead fired to his brother Logan, at shortstop. Logan threw the ball back to Hunter who tagged the Dons’ runner out at the plate to end the inning.
“We had done that several times last season and just weren’t able to execute it, this is the first time we’ve pulled it off,” Hunter Harlan said. “It was the best throw that I’ve done in that situation and Logan made a really nice throw back to home plate.”
The T’Wolves play McCurdy on Thursday in the first round of the Pecos Tournament.