A split of an April 17 Grand Canyon double-header with Page evened the Longhorns' region record to 3-3 (12-10 overall) and kept Payson and the Sand Devils tied for third place in the regional standings.
Powerful Mingus leads the region with a 7-0 record. With 5-2 credentials, Coconino is all alone in second. Coconino's record includes an 8-4 win over Payson April 13 in Flagstaff.
In the rare double-header played before a spirited home-town crowd, the Longhorns dropped the opener 15-8. In the second game, Payson rebounded to whip Page 17-12.
Senior Ryan Thiel shined in the Longhorn win, finishing 3-for-5 at the plate including a booming triple. Thiel only recently returned to the lineup after recovering from a shoulder injury incurred in a snowboarding accident last winter.
Senior Trevor LaHaye pitched just one inning but was credited with the victory.
"That was the first full inning he has pitched this year," coach Teddy Pettet said. Ricky Young started but was not involved in the decision. Ashton Shewey earned a save after hurling one-third of an inning in relief then moving to right field for an inning before returning to the mound.
Page coaches believed that Shewey could not be used in relief twice and phoned Grand Canyon officials to seek clarification. Officials ruled that Pettet's decision was acceptable according to prep rules.
In the opening-round loss, Page scored in every inning except the second. Of the eight runs scored against starter Dustin Hacker, three were earned runs. Hacker was eventually saddled with the loss.
The Longhorns will try to avenge an early season loss to state No. 3 ranked Mingus today (Tuesday). Game time is 3:30 p.m. in Cottonwood.