After a promising 9-3 start, the Payson High School baseball team is in the thick of conference play and learning the hard way just how good the competition is in the 3A East region.
The woes continued Tuesday for the Longhorns, who dropped another conference game, this time to rival Blue Ridge, by a score of 8-6.
With the loss, the Horns slip to third in the 3A East standings with a 9-7 record.
The Yellow Jackets didn't waste any time, getting off to a 4-1 lead after the first inning. The Horns scored a run in six of seven innings, but allowed the Yellow Jackets a run in the fourth and three runs in the sixth, which ultimately did them in.
Jason Sweet picked up the loss in a complete game performance, allowing 12 hits and fanning five Yellow Jacket batters.
Freshman Ever Figueroa led the way offensively, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scoring a run for the Horns.
Ridge Halenar, Sweet and current 3A East region batting average leader, Jacob Willis, added a hit and an RBI each.
Zak Miller went 1-for-2, earning a free base, ripping a double and scoring two runs for the Horns.
The Horns hope to grab hold of the reins and end their ailing ways with a win today, Friday, against Camp Verde at PHS at 3:30 p.m.
The Horns already corralled the Cowboys once this season, during the Mohave Valley Tournament, with a score of 3-2.