After turning in a lackluster effort in a 10-0 loss to Bradshaw Mountain, the Longhorn baseball team rebounded a day later, March 8, to whip Miami 9-2.
Playing on PHS diamond vs. the Vandals, the Horns rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third inning scoring six runs.
Gunner Goodman’s double, a triple off the bat of Cale Novack and singles by Chance Randall, Daily Carnes, Nick McMullen, Garret Geske and Will Dougherty fueled the rally.
In the fifth, Miami loaded the bases on three consecutive singles and was on the verge of having the so-called “big inning.” But with one out, starting hurler Miguel Mendoza got a Miami batsman to hit into a Goodman, Carnes, McMullen double play to end the threat.
Payson tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth on Chance Randall’s two-run circuit blast to give the Horns a 9-2 lead.
Mendoza hurled a gem, giving up just two runs, one earned, in seven full innings. He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out six.
The Horns committed six errors.
Cale Novack paced the team at the plate going 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Randall was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Equally as important as his hitting was that he did not allow a passed ball as the team’s catcher.
In the loss to Bradshaw in Prescott Valley, the Bears lit up Payson’s starting pitcher Dylan Richardson, but it was the lack of execution on both offense and defense that hurt the Longhorns the most.
“Base running mistakes, errors, ignoring the fundamentals when hitting and bunting and missing signs all came back to haunt us in a tough game against a good team,” said coach Scott Novack. “Things we could get away with against other teams were magnified against a good pitcher who kept the ball down.”
Payson’s only hits were garnered by the No. 8 and No. 9 batters — Mendoza and Goodman.
“We are a better team than that,” said coach Novack.
The Horns will have the opportunity prove their coach correct today, March 13 on PHS diamond against the visiting Snowflake Lobos. Game time is 3:30 p.m.