The Longhorns baseball team finally attained it's season-long goal of a berth in the Class 3A Arizona State tournament thanks to a 11-5 playoff victory over Fountain Hills Tuesday afternoon in Gilbert.
The Horns will enter the big show today, Friday, on Mariners Field in the Peoria Sports Complex as the Central Division third seed and play West Division champion River Valley. Game time is 1 p.m.
The Globe Tigers who beat Fountain Hills 6-0 in the first of two playoff games held Tuesday afternoon will enter the state tournament as the Central's second seed. The cats were awarded the runner-up berth after winning a coin toss with the Longhorns conducted only minutes after the three-way play off ended.
The playoff was called for after regular season diamond action ended in a three-way tie involving Globe, Fountain Hills and Payson. All sported 8-4 records.
Division rules dictated the Central's two and three seeds -- behind division champion Cactus Shadows (12-0) -- be decided in a pair of five-inning playoff games at a neutral site.
After a coin flip designated the Longhorns as odd team out in the first playoff game, Globe beat Fountain Hills.
Payson then eliminated Fountain Hills with a victory of its own and another coin toss was held to decide the two and three seeds.
Zumbro on the mound
In Payson's win, junior Bryan Zumbro started on the mound and hurled his way to a 11-2 lead thanks to a three-run home run from Hunter Walden and a two-run double by teammate Jeremy Reynolds.
In the fifth inning, the Falcons rallied for three runs off Walden -- who was relieving Zumbro.
But the come-from-behind effort came up short and the Horns are on their way to Peoria.
For state sixth-ranked Fountain Hills, the 1999 campaign is at an end.