Payson’s baseball team won the first three games it played in the Goodyear Estrella Foothills Wolves Classic to push its winning streak to seven games.
But the streak ended with a 4-1 loss to Division 2 Buckeye Verrado in the semifinals on Saturday at Goodyear Stadium.
“It was a pretty good tournament overall for us,” said PHS coach Brian Young. “The tournament was a great experience. The guys got three days to keep bonding together and you can’t put a price on that.”
PHS is 10-5 overall, 6-2 in power points games and 2-0 in Section 5 heading into today’s 5:30 p.m. section home game against Winslow. PHS is No. 5 in the Division 3 power rankings. The Bulldogs are No. 12.
“It’s a big game,” Young said. “If you want to win the section this is one of the games you need to go and get.
“I like where we are at. There’s plenty of room to improve as we get into the final 11 power point games. They are going to come quick throughout April.”
Payson 6, Holbrook 4
The Longhorns opened pool play in the Estrella Foothills tournament by beating a Holbrook team it beat 10-0 two days earlier in a section game by two runs on Thursday.
Taran Sarnowski and Dailey Carnes both had two hits and two RBIs to lead the eight-hit attack.
Four Longhorns combined to strike out 14 Roadrunners in a six-inning one-hitter, although PHS walked eight and committed four errors leading to four unearned runs. Miguel Mendoza pitched 3-1/3 innings, fanning eight. Carnes, Taran Sarnowski and Nick McMullen followed him.
“We played a pretty sloppy game with errors, passed balls and walks, but found a way to win,” Young said. “I give our guys credit for battling through a game where we just weren’t sharp. Holbrook came back tough after we had played them Tuesday, and threw a pitcher that kept us off balance so we didn’t hit a lot in this game.”
Payson 6, Combs 5
Mendoza drove in Taran Sarnowski with the winning run as PHS scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to rally past a solid Combs team on Friday. The Longhorns pounded out 13 hits, with McMullen and Taran Sarnowski both collecting two hits and driving in two and Carnes and Mendoza also collecting two hits.
Tyus Sarnowski scattered seven hits and four walks while fanning seven in 6-2/3 innings and McMullen got the win with 1/3 inning of relief. “Tyus battled tough for us,” Young said. “He ate some innings, which we really needed in a tournament like this.
“It was an exciting end for us. Our guys never gave up and it paid off.”
Payson 10, Youngker 3
The Longhorns pounded out 12 hits in beating Division 2 Buckeye Youngker on Friday.
Ruben Estrada led the way with three hits and two RBIs, while Mendoza had two hits and three RBIs and Taran Sarnowski and Konner Duran also had two hits. Duran pitched 5-1/3 innings, with McMullen working the final 1-2/3 innings.
“Konner had some control issues, but kept us in the game,” Young said. “And Nick really settled into that reliever role during the tournament, pitching three times and allowing no hits and no runs in four innings.”
Verrado 4 Payson 1
PHS managed just five hits in losing to the Division 2 Vipers on Saturday. Mendoza singled and drove in the only run.
Carnes allowed just six hits and walked two in six innings in suffering the loss.
“We were back to a stadium game where we haven't had much success playing another Division 2 team and Verrado is a real good one,” Young said. “Dailey did a nice job against a good-hitting team. He really deserved some more offense for the good effort he put up. I was pleased with our defense. We converted 16 outs without an error. In fact, we played the last two games without an error. Offensively we just never strung hits together at the right time.”
Div. 3 Section 5 Baseball
W L GB W L
Payson 2 0 - 6 2
Round Valley 2 0 - 5 5
Show Low 1 0 0.5 9 1
Blue Ridge 1 1 1 4 5
Winslow 0 0 1 7 4
Alchesay 0 0 1 5 5
Snowflake 0 1 1.5 5 3
Globe 0 2 2 0 8
Holbrook 0 2 2 4 6
Tuesday, April 8
Section 5 Games
Snowflake at Round Valley, 3:30 p.m.
Alchesay at Show Low, 4 p.m.
Winslow at Payson, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9
Section 5 Game
Blue Ridge at Holbrook, 4 p.m.
St. Johns at Snowflake, 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 10
Section 5 Games
Globe at Show Low, 4 p.m.
Round Valley at Alchesay, 4 p.m.