Gilbert Mesquite was used to being in this type of game all right. Just on the other end.
The No. 15 Wildcats turned the tables on a frustrating season Saturday afternoon, rallying from a four-run deficit to beat No. 2 seed Mesa Red Mountain 8-7 in the first round of the 5A-I state baseball tournament at Red Mountain.
Mesquite trailed 7-5 heading into the seventh but put up three runs to steal the win.
"We finally got over that hump," Mesquite coach Jeff Holland said. "...I told them, the regular season's over. Whatever you did, it doesn't matter."
Mesquite had a tendency to blow leads this year, highlighted by a 19-17 loss to Gilbert on April 9 when it led by 10 runs.
But the reversal of fortunes couldn't have come at a better time.
Mesquite moves into the winner's bracket and will play against No. 7 Gilbert Highland at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Tuesday.
Austin Carr tied the game with a two-run double with one out in the ninth and scored the eventual winning run on a sacrifice fly by Rocky High.
Carr hit a first-pitch fastball after noticing Red Mountain ace Mark Hawkenson started the previous three batters the same way.
He said seeing Hawkenson four times in the game helped him become more comfortable in that final at-bat.
"My first at-bat was horrible, but they just got better and better," Carr said.
Freshman Zack Davies got the win by escaping a jam in the sixth inning and then throwing a scoreless seventh.
"The kid's a freshman, but the maturity level and the mental toughness is better than I've ever seen," Holland said.
Mesquite trailed 2-0, 6-2 and 7-5 at different times in the game but never relented.
"It was a different intensity level," Holland said. "They know there's no tomorrow."
Red Mountain drops into the loser's bracket, where it will face Phoenix Desert Vista on Tuesday at Red Mountain.
"If you asked any of us and said we're going to score seven runs in our first game with our ace on the hill, we would have bet a lot of money that we'd win that game," Red Mountain shortstop Dean Espy said.
"But a few hops here and there, a few little loopers. That's baseball."