Lead-off hitter Waylon Pettet's yeoman-like offensive effort wasn't enough to lift the Payson Longhorns to a win over the Show Low Cougars.
In Tuesday afternoon's 6-5 loss to the visiting Cats, Pettet head coach Teddy Pettet's nephew turned in a three-for-three hitting performance which included two home runs, two RBIs and four runs scored.
Three crucial errors, however, coupled with some mental lapses, spelled Payson's demise.
"We thought we were ready, but we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot," coach Pettet said.
Before the first pitch of the game was thrown, some wondered if Payson hitters could handle the offerings of heralded Show Low hurler Doug Mathis. The Cougar ace entered the fray with a 6-0 record which included a complete game win over Class 5A Trevor Browne.
Further enhancing his reputation was the fact that last year Mathis hurled two wins again the Longhorns.
Although Mathis went the distance and picked up the win, he didn't dominate the proceedings.
"I guarantee you he hasn't been hit like that in a long time," Pettet said.
In addition to Waylon's remarkable performance, Ky Bradley, Nate Perna and Sean Pickle contributed to the Horns' six-hit attack.
Bradley's hit a two-out, two-run circuit blast that soared over the right field fence came in the bottom of seventh with Payson trailing 6-3.
Mathis' offering, Bradley said, was a ripe pitch over the heart of the plate that he was able to get the meat of the bat on.
Down by a single run, Payson's hopes came to an end when cleanup hitter Rob Ochoa flew out to left field.
The loss was tagged to starter Chad McRae (2-2) who hurled five innings before giving way to Jon Beeson.
During McRae's stint on the mound, he faced 24 batters, gave up two earned runs and three hits while striking out four.
Of the hits he allowed, two were home runs and the other a triple.
During Beeson's one scoreless inning, he allowed one hit and walked one.
Bradley hurled the final inning and gave up an earned run on one hit, a walk and a hit batsman.
With the loss, Payson's record falls to 15-5-1 overall and 3-1 in the East region.
Show Low improved to 17-3 and 4-0 in the East region.
The defeat also dropped the Horns into second place in the region standings behind the Cougars
The two teams will lock horns again on April 26 in Show Low. Game time is 4 p.m.