Hosting the Salt River Eagles, the Payson Longhorns soared — besting their opponents by 25 points over the course of the doubleheader. The Horns won the 3 p.m. game 12-2 and the 5 p.m. game 17-2.
In the early game Payson tallied six hits from Miguel Mendoza, Konner Duran, Nick McMullen, David Evans, Dailey Carnes and Ruben Estrada. The Horns had nine RBIs.
Carnes also had three of the nine RBIs, McMullen and Mendoza each had two.
McMullen and Carnes both had home runs.
Senior Gunner Goodman pitched five innings.
The early game was just a warm up; in the 5 p.m. go-round the Horns had 16 hits and 14 RBIs.
Junior powerhouse McMullen was responsible for four of the RBIs. He also had one of the team’s two home runs; Gunner Goodman put the other on the board.
Everybody in the lineup, but pitcher Konner Duran, had at least one hit. Tyus Sarnowski, Mendoza, McMullen and Carnes each had 3 hits; Ruben Estrada had 2; and Jesus Perez, Logan Morgan and Goodman each contributed 1.
The team traveled to the Verde Valley Wednesday to face Mingus and then went down to the Diamondbacks’ spring training facility, Salt River Field in the Valley, to face Page Thursday. Today, Friday, the team is in Show Low.
The next home game will be the last before state playoffs begin. The team will face Camp Verde Tuesday, April 23, which will also be senior night.
As of Wednesday morning the Horns had an 11-3 record and were sitting in fifth place in Division III. River Valley is ranked No. 1 with a 15-0 record; longtime Longhorn rival Show Low is No. 2 with an 11-1 record; followed by Fountain Hills at No. 3, 12-4 and Scottsdale Christian, No. 4, 10-3.
Following the Horns in the rankings are Willcox, No. 6, 15-2; Mingus, No. 7, 11-3; and Blue Ridge, another longtime PHS rival, No. 8 with an 8-3 record.
The rankings of upcoming opponents were Page, No. 19, 6-5; Camp Verde, No. 26, 5-9.
The state playoffs begin Tuesday, April 30 with the first round; and then continue May 3 for the second round; May 4 for the third round; with the finals slated for May 10.