Jacket Ace Stymies Horn Hitters

Payson Longhorn ball player Nick McMullen makes it look easy as he catches a fly ball during an afternoon game at home against Snowflake.

Payson Longhorn ball player Nick McMullen makes it look easy as he catches a fly ball during an afternoon game at home against Snowflake. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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The Payson Longhorn baseball team ran into a Blue Ridge buzz saw by the name of Sebastian Kessay.

“He’s one of the best high school pitchers in Arizona,” said PHS coach Scott Novack.

For proof, take a gander at the stats he racked up in BR’s 5-1 win over PHS on March 29 in Lakeside.

Kessay went the distance on the hill, gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out a whopping 13 Horn batsmen.

In the first inning, Kessay gave an indication of how tough he was going to be in the game, striking out the side.

The Horns did, however, have several opportunities to score, but Kessay usually closed down the threat without much damage.

For example, in the top of the seventh with just one out and Kyle Randall on at second and Nick McMullen at first, the Horns had a legitimate opportunity to rough up Kessay.

But the Yellow Jacket fireballer responded by striking out the next two hitters to emerge from the inning unscathed.

Also, Kessay flirted with a no-hitter going into the fourth when Westin Gibson ripped a base hit only to be left stranded on the base paths.

In addition to the pitching of Kessay, BR foiled Payson’s big hitters by playing their outfielders deep, just short of the outfield fence.

“Chance Randall had a drive in the fourth inning, with Gibson on and two outs, that the center fielder caught with his back against the fence,” said Novack. “When we touched it, we hit it hard, but we didn’t touch it enough.”

The Longhorns, now 7-2, return to action today, April 1, and tomorrow in the Wolves Classic Tournament in Goodyear.

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