Sabino coach Rod Allen knew better than to count out Salpointe Catholic even though his squad had a five-run lead going into the final inning.
He was glad he didn't.
The Lancers scored four runs in the top of the seventh to pull within one before reliever Jeremy Timpf struck out J.C. Velasco to get the save and secure the 10-9 win for the Sabercats.
"Until we get three outs I've not comfortable," Allen said. "They just won't quit and that's a mark of a good team."
The final pitch of the game was the first pitch after Salpointe's Fernando Careaga scored on a passed ball. Three batters earlier with two outs, Careaga made it a two-run game when he drove in three runs on a double to dead center.
But, as Salpointe coach Danny Preble said, it was just too little too late, which has been an all-too-common theme this season.
"The kids battled but we've got to figure a way to go out from the beginning," he said. "We shouldn't have been in that situation to begin with; they had every opportunity to bury us."
The Sabercats (19-5) almost had the Lancers buried at a few points. Each time Salpointe scored in the first four innings, Sabino answered back and regained the lead.
Salpointe's Michael Hoard drove a two-run home run to right, putting the Lancers up 3-2 in the top of the third.
Then, in the bottom of the frame, Sabino's Ben Skuro, who got the win on the mound, hit a two-run single to left to regain the lead.
The Lancers (17-6) made it 4-4 in the fourth thanks to a triple by Velasco. Then Velasco scored on a passed ball to give Salpointe a 5-4 lead.
But in one pitch, Sabino tied the game when Jacob Hume led off with a first-pitch home run to left field. Zach Gadway later scored on a single to right field by Matt Bushman to make it 6-5.
"We got pitches that we wanted and we were aggressive at the plate," Hume said. "Overall it was a great effort by our team."
The Sabercats never trailed again and put up four runs in their final two at-bats.
Three of those runs came in the fifth after Skuro led off with a double to the left-field fence.
He scored three batters later on a bunt by Hume. Ty Pennington then scored on a bunt by Gadway. Hume came home on a single by Timpf to put Sabino up 9-5.
Preble said the Lancers have to improve their play on the road.
"Especially with the state tournament coming, there's a good shot you're going to be on the road for a bunch of it," he said.