Sabino's Jeremy Timpf and Daniel Peters have been teammates since Little League. Peters, the catcher, and Timpf, the pitcher, thrive on working together and out-thinking the opponent.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Timpf throws in the upper 80s and mixes it up with solid offspeed pitches, and his catcher can hit the ball a country mile.
Both standouts were on display Tuesday afternoon in Sabino's 7-2 win over Flagstaff Coconino in the second round of the Division II state tournament.
Timpf tossed six innings, giving up one earned run and striking out nine to earn the win. He was 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI.
Peters, the cleanup hitter, was 1 for 2 with a double, a walk and three RBIs.
"We've been working together for a long time," Peters said. "We just go out there and have some fun. I throw some fingers down, and he does the rest."
Timpf, who moved to 6-2 on the season, allowed two runs in the top of the third, and Coconino took an early 2-0 win.
The Sabercats responded right away, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Zach Gadway and Matt Bushman started the inning with back-to-back singles, and Timpf drove in Gadway with a single.
Peters followed with a line drive double off the wall to score Bushman and courtesy runner Dominic Bemis.
Ben Skuro and J.J. Rau also added RBIs to give Sabino (25-5) a 5-2 lead.
One inning later, Bushman tripled and scored on a passed ball and after a Timpf double, Peters hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
"It just takes one hit to get it started, and then everyone gets going," Peters said. "One hit and it starts the merry-go-round. It's a fun lineup to hit in."
The Sabercats will face Scottsdale Saguaro on Thursday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium in the third round, beginning the double-elimination portion of the state tournament.
Coach Rod Allen's squad has three starting pitchers, who all have ERAs under 2.20, making the Sabercats a dangerous out with such a deep staff.
"Since I've been here, I've wanted a double-elimination tournament, and now I finally got it," Allen said.
Douglas 5, Yuma Gila Ridge 1: Xavier Altamirano hurled a complete game and added a double as the Bulldogs moved on.
Salpointe Catholic 6, Buckeye Verrado 1: The Lancers scored four runs in the third inning, and freshman Jio Orozco tossed a complete game to earn the win.
Peoria Liberty 6, Sahuaro 5 (8 innings): Despite six extra-base hits, the Cougars could not pull the upset of the fifth-seeded Lions in extra innings and were eliminated from the postseason.
Phoenix Sunnyslope 4, Canyon del Oro 1: The Dorados lost for just the second time in the last 14 games and finished the season with a 22-8 record.
Phoenix Pinnacle 7, Cienega 6: Senior Juan Gamez homered and doubled for the Bobcats, but it was not enough to oust the No. 1 seed.
Empire 14, Ganado 0 (5 innings): Cole Plouck and Donny Sands combined for a five-inning no-hitter to lift the Ravens into the second round.
Tanque Verde 10, Miami 0: David Novak pitched a complete game, giving up just four hits and striking out nine to advance the 15th-seeded Hawks to the second round.