Cienega left-hander Jake Repavich pitched a complete-game gem Thursday afternoon, leading the Bobcats to their fifth straight win, but he wasn't celebrating or talking about the upcoming state tournament.
Instead, he was already thinking about winning his next outing against Tucson on Monday.
Cienega is ranked 14th in Division I and is likely to move up in the rankings after beating Sabino 10-3 at home. But the Bobcats want to win their final three games of the regular season and are hoping to earn a first-round home game or possibly even a bye.
The Bobcats (13-12) played solid defense behind Repavich and gave him plenty of run support as he gave up three runs, seven hits and struck out five batters over seven innings. It was the senior's second straight win and improved his record to 6-3.
Cienega scored all 10 runs in the final four innings. Center fielder Andre Jackson hit a game-tying RBI triple in the fourth to make it 2-2 before putting the Bobcats up for good when he scored on an error. Sabino had three errors in the top of the sixth that resulted in a five-run inning for Cienega.
Repavich gave a lot of the credit to his defense which ended the game with a 4-6-3 double play and registered only two errors in the game.
"It's good to know you've got that defense behind you," Repavich said. "It's not like I have to get every batter out."
Cienega coach Tony Gabusi said the solid defense has been huge in the team's current winning streak and he's happy to see the way his team is playing at this point in the season with the state tournament opening April 27.
"We've been pitching all year, our offense has been there most of the time but our defense has been shooting our feet," Gabusi said.
"When we play good defense, I'll play anybody. Our motto this year has been how we play not who we play."
Sabino (12-10-2) had won seven straight but has since lost three in a row and have fallen out of the Division II state tournament picture. Coach Rod Allen said the difference for his squad has been defensive and pitching issues.
"If we don't have any pitching, it's going to be really hard to get to the playoffs," Allen said.
On StarNet: Follow your school as the spring state tournaments approach at azstarnet.com/sports/high-school