After two days of rain delay, the Payson and Benton, Arkansas teams finally locked horns March 20 at Peoria Sunrise Mountain High School.
In the unusual baseball showdown between two schools whose campuses are 1,500 miles apart, the Arkansas school reigned supreme by a 9-1 measure.
For Payson, Jeremy Heairet got the starting pitching nod from coach Teddy Pettet and absorbed the loss after lasting two innings on the hill. Ricky Young relieved Heairet and hurled three innings before giving way to Jon Beeson. Ashton Shewey pitched the final inning.
Payson's lone run was scored in the seventh inning when senior Waylon Pettet blasted a 400-foot plus home run over the centerfield fence.
With the loss, Payson's early season record fell to 8-4.
"We just didn't play well and we didn't hit the ball," coach Pettet said.
The fray marked the conclusion of non-region and tournament play.
The Horns will open all-important East action at 3:30 p.m. on the PHS diamond against the Snowflake Lobos. Shewey is expected to start on the hill for the Longhorns.
The game could turn into a preview of the East region title chase. Both the Longhorns and the Lobos are expected to field teams that will battle for the East championship.