Catalina Foothills looked well on its way to keeping its slim playoff hopes alive through three innings at Sabino on Wednesday.
Falcons starter Cody Lindar had allowed just one runner into scoring position and the offense spotted him a two-run lead in the third inning.
But then Sabino exploded for eight runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth on its way to a 12-2 run-rule win that all but ended the Falcons' chances for a Division II postseason berth.
"You never know with these power rankings, but it's a real long shot," Catalina Foothills coach Lance Robertson said. "If Sabino does what they did today, I can guarantee they're going to make a run."
Catalina Foothills got the scoring started in the third on an A.J. Muscarello RBI triple. Muscarello then scored on a Sebastian Zawada single. But the Falcons wouldn't pick up another hit in the game as Sabino left-hander Ben Skuro tossed two perfect innings in relief of starter Jeremy Timpf, who lasted three innings, giving up two runs and four hits.
Then the Sabino offense came to life in the fourth. After catcher Daniel Peters led off with a single, Skuro lined an RBI double just inside third base and the Sabercats plated four more runs before Catalina Foothills recorded an out.
"Someone gets a little base hit or beats out a throw, and all of our energy starts to rise," Skuro said. "Everyone starts feeding off that and magical things happen."
Sabercats coach Rod Allen said the team's plan was to get as many pitchers work as he could before the postseason.
He said he hopes the win will put Sabino in the top three or four of the power rankings, meaning the Sabercats would play a second-round game Tuesday rather than an opening round game Saturday.
But despite the fact that Sabino could be facing a nearly weeklong layoff, Skuro said the Sabercats would be ready to go come game time.
"You get a few days of rest, a few extra days of practice to prepare for what's to come," Skuro said. "The biggest thing is everyone's intensity. If everyone keeps the intensity up, I think we'll be all right."