The Longhorns donned their camouflage jerseys on Thursday, but they didn’t exactly blend into the background.
And it wasn’t just that purple and white stands out: No, it was the shine off Dailey Carnes’ pitching in Payson’s first home night game of the season. The ball might as well have been in camouflage as the senior right-hander dominated Blue Ridge batters in firing a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts in six innings as the Longhorns posted a 6-1 victory.
“He was very dominating throughout the game,” said PHS coach Brian Young.
Carnes rarely got in trouble. However, he loaded the bases on walks in one inning before working out of the jam.
“At this point in the season we want to see our pitchers be able to work through any of those struggles and Dailey did that,” his skipper said.
Nick McMullen pitched a hitless seventh inning to end it. The senior also belted his third home run in three games and drove in a pair to lead a 10-hit attack. “Nick is just really starting to feel very comfortable at the plate,” Young said.
The score could have been more lopsided, but the Longhorns stranded 10 baserunners.
“We had guys on base often, but we just didn’t find ways to push them around,” Young said.
PHS scored two runs in the third after the Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning and put the game away with a four-run fourth.
Carnes went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Taran Sarnowski also doubled and had two hits and drove in a run and Ruben Estrada was 2-for-4. McMullen drove in two.
In its Division 3 Section 5 opener, PHS improved to 6-4 overall with its third straight win. Blue Ridge fell to 6-10 overall.
The Longhorns continue section action at 3 p.m. today at Holbrook. They’ll play in the Goodyear Estrella Foothills Invitational this Thursday-Saturday.
“We had a lot of fun under the lights in the camo jerseys,” Young said. “It was nice to get out and get that first sectional win. We are in a very tough section, so you can’t take any of those games for granted if you want to try to win the section. The guys had a lot of fun playing at night and we had a great crowd. We have a little bit of momentum going and we want to take that into our next game at Holbrook on Tuesday.”
Div. 3 Section 5 Baseball
W L GB W L
Payson 1 0 - 5 2
Round Valley 1 0 - 3 5
Show Low 0 0 0.5 8 1
Winslow 0 0 0.5 7 3
Snowflake 0 0 0.5 5 2
Alchesay 0 0 0.5 5 4
Globe 0 0 0.5 0 5
Blue Ridge 0 1 1 3 3
Holbrook 0 1 1 3 5
Pwr Pts Games-Power Points Games
Tuesday, April 1
Section 5 Games
Payson at Holbrook, 3 p.m.
Blue Ridge at Globe, 4 p.m.
Snowflake at Show Low, 4 p.m.
St. Johns at Round Valley, 3:30 p.m.
Winslow at Cottonwood Mingus, 3:45 p.m.