The homestanding Mogollon Mustang baseball and softball teams now know the wrath of the Longhorns, losing two games by a combined score of 36-6.
Playing April 2 in Heber, the Horn baseball team corralled the ’stangs 15-1 and the Lady Longhorn softball crew lassoed Division IV Mogollon 21-5.
The Lady Horn softball team now takes a brief respite before returning to action April 8 to host Show Low.
There will be no rest for the baseball crew, however, because PHS travels today (April 5) to Estrella Foothills to play in an invitational that has attracted some of Division III’s finest teams.
“This will be a great test to see where we are as we start the stretch run in April,” said coach Brian Young. “I love how some of our pitching matches up and if guys throw the way they are capable, then we should be very competitive in the tournament.”
For opening day, the tournament teams will be aligned in pool play and the Horns find themselves positioned in a tough pool that also includes Blue Ridge, Wickenburg and Chino Valley.
In power points rankings for this week, Payson is rated fourth, Blue Ridge sixth and Wickenburg 11th. Chino Valley is 24th but has played an extremely tough schedule.
In Division III softball power points rankings, Payson is third behind second place Empire and first place Winslow.
All three are undefeated as is fourth-ranked Benson.
In whipping Mogollon, the Horn offense churned out one of its best showings of the year with 16 hits.
Dailey Carnes led the hit parade finishing 4-for-4 with a triple, four runs
scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases.
Nick McMullen was 3-for-4 including a triple, home run, three runs and five RBIs.
“Lots of other guys had hits up and down the lineup,” Young said. “If we can find some consistency swinging the bats it will really help us down the stretch.”
As for pitching, Young used the game as a tune-up for the upcoming tournament opting to throw starter Tyus Sarnowski for just three innings. He responded well striking out four and giving up one run, which was due to walks.
Gunner Goodman pitched the final two innings and turned in one of his best efforts of the young season, striking out three and not issuing a single base on balls.
Control has sometimes been an issue for Goodman.
“He worked hard to correct a mechanical flaw and was perfect in his innings,” said Young.
Defensively, the Horns did not commit an error, “which was very good to see,” said Young.
The coach summed up the win saying, “We took care of business. In the middle of a very strong season you don’t want a team like Mogollon to jump up and get you.”