TEMPE - After compiling seven hits in the first five innings of the game, Tucson High equaled that total in the sixth inning.
Those hits, including Isaac Federico's two-run go-ahead single to center, rallied the Badgers to a 6-3 Division I state quarterfinal victory over Phoenix Mountain Pointe Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The Badgers are now one win away from their first state championship game since 2002 and will play the winner of Scottsdale Desert Mountain/Pinnacle in the semifinals on Thursday in Tempe.
"We have to stay focused right now," shortstop and captain Alex Robles said. "This one was nice to have, but we got two more."
The sixth-inning rally started with back-to-back single from Robles and Felipe Peralta, forcing the Pride to pull starter Jorge Carrazco for reliever Ryan Sheehan.
"We were hitting the ball hard all game off him and the hits finally came," Robles said.
With Sheehan pitching, Jesse Robles loaded the bases with a single to center, bringing up Cameron Amparano as a pinch-hitter. Another pitching change for Mountain Pointe brought in Ole Miss commit Brantley Bell. Amparano greeted him with a single up the middle to score the Badgers' first run of the game. Jacon Topete and Ivan Estrella followed with two consecutive sacrifice flies to knot the score at 3-3.
After Emilio Melendez walked to put Badgers on first and second, Federico lined a high-outside fastball to center, bringing home both runners to give Tucson a 5-3 lead.
"That was just the pitch I was looking for to drive and try to put us up on the board," Federico said.
Alex Robles added an insurance run with his third hit of the game, an RBI single, to give the Badgers a three-run cushion.
Tucson coach Oscar Romero then sent Robles to the mound to finish off the game in the seventh. Romero said he will pitch Robles in the semifinals after using four pitchers in Saturday's game.
Sophomore Trevelle Hill started against the Pride, while Michael Teran and Peralta were used as relievers.
"We are sitting good," Romero said. "Realistically we got some rest now and Alex can come back."