TEMPE - No. 3 Sabino ran into some hard hitters and a tough pitcher in the third round of the state tournament and finds itself in an unfamiliar position - having to come back from a big loss.
Randy Dalrymple (5-1) gave up eight runs and nine hits over 2 2/3 innings Thursday night as the Sabercats fell into the losers bracket with a 15-4 loss in five innings to No. 6 Saguaro in the Division II state baseball tournament at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Saguaro meets Salpointe on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Camelback Ranch, and Sabino (25-6) will have to beat No. 2 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. at Surprise Stadium on Saturday to stay alive.
Sabino hadn't had to deal with being blown out this season, so Saturday's elimination game will prove interesting.
"This is new territory for us. Now, they have earned the right to come. They are the ones that hit, catch, throw," Sabino coach Rod Allen said of his players. "We'll see. If they want it bad enough, they will find a way to compete. That's all we ask."
Saguaro got out of the blocks quickly, scoring four times in the first. After Sabino got three back in the second, Saguaro scored four more in the third, chasing starter Dalrymple.
"He didn't have the curveball for strikes," Allen said. "When you face a team that can hit this well, you better have a couple of pitches that you can throw for strikes. They sat back and waited, and they knew the pitch he could throw for strikes was coming, and they hit the ball well."