The opportunity to jump out to a 5-0 East region start awaits the Longhorns today, Tuesday, on Payson High School diamond.
The Horns' opponent, Snowflake, is 2-2 in the region (8-12 overall) but features a young and talented team led by Kyle Larson, Cody Overley and Nick Reidhead.
Larson is the Lobos' RBI leader with 12, Overly has stolen a team-high 12 bases and Reidhead is ranked fifth in the region in strikeouts with 25.
PHS coach Jerry Daniels is anticipating starting sophomore Sean Dougherty against the Lobos.
"He hasn't pitched much, but he has the potential," he said. "We are going to need him."
With Dougherty set to go against the Lobos, Daniels will give Hunter Haynes, the team's mound ace most of the year, against Show Low on April 11.
The Cougars, coached by David Nikolaus, are 3-1 in the region (14-5 overall) and a huge threat to battle the Horns for East honors.
Show Low's only region loss was to Payson on March 11.
The Horns remained unbeaten (4-0) in the East with an 11-1 win over Alchesay April 4 in Whiteriver.
Freshman Weston Gibson started on the hill and was credited with the win after hurling three innings. During his stint, he faced 12 batters, gave up three hits and struck out six.
Ryan Williams threw the final two innings, striking out three and allowing one hit and an earned run.
The game was shortened to fiveinnings on the 10-run rule.
Offensively Haynes was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Devin England fattened his batting average with a 2-for-3 effort that included two RBIs and a double.
Ryan Williams and Ever Figueroa also swatted two-baggers in the Longhorns' 11-hit attack. Defensively, the Horns played sound ball, committing just two errors.
"It was a good win for us, one we needed," Daniels said.
Alchesay's loss dropped the Falcons to 0-4 on the year.