Horns Finish 3-1 At Weekend Estrella Tourney

Host team eliminates Payson in semi-final


The Longhorns scored wins against Holbrook, Sedona Red Rock and Buckeye before being eliminated by host team Estrella Foothills at a weekend tournament.

The Longhorns scored wins against Holbrook, Sedona Red Rock and Buckeye before being eliminated by host team Estrella Foothills at a weekend tournament. Photo by Max Foster. |

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Payson came away from this weekend’s Estrella Tournament with a 3-1 overall record, losing to host Estrella Foothills 9-8 in the semi-final game of the tournament at Goodyear Stadium on Saturday.

Coach Scott Novack filed this report:

In the first game, Holbrook led 5-2 until the bottom of the sixth when Payson scored seven runs. Chance Randall doubled and Dylan Richardson drove him in with a single. After two walks, Miguel Mendoza singled in two; Dailey Carnes also singled two runs in. Cale Novack singled and Randall drove in two more; then Nick McMullen tripled to empty the bases.

When all was said and done, the score was 10-5 in Payson’s favor.

The coach said Will Dougherty pitched a complete game — scattering six hits, one homer, six strikeouts, two walks and five runs. There were five defensive errors behind him.

Tyus Sarnowski blanked Sedona Red Rock in the second game, giving Payson a 9-0 win. Sarnowski had 10 strikeouts, three walks and scattered two hits; no errors.

“Offensively, we were slow getting started,” the coach said. “We got two in the third on a single by Carnes and an RBI triple by Randall, and a sac fly by McMullen. Then in the fourth we got two more on two-out consecutive singles by Carnes, Novack, and Randall.”

The Payson-Sedona score was then 4-0.

“We got four more on a single by Sam Grassel, a ROE, and a three-run homer by Gunner Goodman,” the coach reported.

The final score was Payson 9, Sedona 0.

“Against Buckeye, we trailed 9-3. It was a pitching merry-go-round. Mendoza started, struggled, and gave way to Novack in the first. Novack gave up four in three innings, but pitched well and Payson errors cost us. Garrett Geske then entered, gave up two more in a third of an inning. Randall then came in and got two outs on four pitches. At that point we trailed 9-3.

“In the top of the fifth, we got three on two walks, single and error, and then Randall hit a three-run homer, tying up the score 9-9.”

Mendoza came back in as pitcher and shut Buckeye down in the fifth and sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Payson got four more: a single by Novack, an intentional walk to Randall, McMullen ROE and singled in two, but was caught trying to go to second. Designated hitter Sam Grassel then doubled off the wall in right center scoring McMullen.

The final was 13-9 Payson.

In the semi-final with host Estrella Foothills, the Longhorns trailed 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Richardson started and Payson got six runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead 8-4. 

Goodman got plunked to lead off the inning and Mendoza bunted him over to second. 

Carnes walked and Novack got on in an error, scoring Goodman. Randall then got on in an error, scoring Carnes. McMullen singled to load the bases, and then Richardson tripled over the centerfielder’s head to the wall in dead center, emptying the bases. Garrett Geske then pinch hit and scored Richardson with a sacrifice fly.

“In the bottom of the fifth, Estrella got five on a Goodman error, two walks and a couple of wild pitches. Randall entered as pitcher and gave up a walk and two doubles; Will Dougherty entered and gave up a single, but then shut the door,” the coach said.  

“We threatened in the seventh with runners at first and second, but a K and a popout ended the game.”

The Longhorns next travel to Show Low Wednesday, April 11 for a 4 p.m. game (both JV and varsity play at this time). The road games continue Thursday, April 12 at Miami. The JV team plays at 2 p.m., followed by the varsity at 4 p.m.

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