A perfect 5-0 record is at stake today, March 6, when the Longhorns baseball team returns to action against a Salt River team that is relatively unknown on the state’s sports scene.
SR, a small, Scottsdale-area school, competes in Division IV where it has forged out a 2-3 record beating St. Gregory College Prep 8-2 and Canyon State Academy, formerly Arizona Boys Ranch, 10-8.
The Eagles have lost 15-6 and 11-5 to Phoenix Country and 7-6 to Veritas Prep.
Payson opened the season on a roll, winning the Fountain Hills Invitational tournament and following it up with a win vs. Mogollon at PHS.
In taking on the Eagles today, coach Scott Novack has at his beck and call a bevy of heavy hitters including Nick McMullen, Dailey Carnes, Dylan Richardson, Miguel Mendoza, Chance Randall and others.
In the Fountain Hills tournament, Randall stroked six hits, five of which were for extra bases including three triples.
Novack says opposing coaches are catching on to Randall’s hitting prowess and beginning to pitch around him.
In the FH tournament championship win over Camp Verde, McMullen was 4-for-4 with six RBI’s and three runs scored.
Carnes, who has been batting leadoff, has shown a propensity to be able to get on base with a variety of methods.
In the Camp Verde tournament game he was on base all five of his at-bats scoring three runs.
As good as Horn hitting has been, the team needs sold pitching to emerge on top at Salt River.
That type of stellar hurling could come from Mendoza, who pitched five shutout innings in the tournament win over Camp Verde.
Garrett Geske has also shown to be potentially good, as have Cale Novack and Will Dougherty.
Following today’s game in Scottsdale, the Horns spring back into play tomorrow, March 7 at Bradshaw Mountain.