Opening round victories in the Grand Canyon regional tournament have propelled the PHS baseball and softball team into second round games at 12:30 p.m. today in Mingus.
The Longhorns are slated to play Coconino and the Lady Horns take on Page.
If either PHS team emerges victorious, the wins would ensure Payson of at least a second-place finish in the tournament and a berth in the 4A state showdown which begins May 8 at the home site of all region runner-ups.
If either team loses today, they would play again tomorrow in Mingus with a third-place finish at stake.
Third-place finishers also advance to state but must travel for the first round. The final rounds of the state tournament are played in Tucson.
In the first round triumphs Saturday on PHS diamonds, the Longhorns came from one run down in the sixth inning to defeat Flagstaff 6-5 and the Lady Horns rode the one-hit pitching of Morgan O'Haver to a 12-1 five inning victory over Coconino.
In the baseball team's triumph, senior left-hander Ashton Shewey started on the hill and was credited with the victory after giving up four hits, striking out 10 and walking four. Of the five runs scored, three were earned.
Designated hitter Tyler Williams finished 2-for-4 at the plate as did Kyle Sachak and Matt LeVac.
One of Sachak's hits was an RBI triple to right field.
Leading 4-1 in the top of the sixth inning, the Horns pitching and defense fell apart allowing the Eagles to soar to a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, the Horns rebounded to score both the tying and winning run.
Oddly enough, it was an unusual bunt-and-run play with Dustin Hacker on at second that tied the game.
"Don't ask me why I called for it," coach Teddy Pettet said.
Whatever his motivation was, Hacker scored to give the Horn cause new life.