HS Baseball Playoffs: Grand Oaks stuns The Woodlands with Game 1 walkoff

By: JD Hurd II
| Published 05/20/2021


HUMBLE, TX -- Magic happens in the playoffs and the Grand Oaks Grizzlies definitely created magic in their 6-5 win over The Woodlands Highlanders on Thursday night. Trailing 5-3 and down to their final out, Antonio Sabala stepped up to the plate after The Woodlands chose to intentionally walk Shane Martin. Sabala made the Highlanders pay for that decision with a line drive to center field. The hit brought home three runs to give Grand Oaks the walk-off victory in Game 1 of the Regional Quarterfinals.

In their first season at the 6A level, the Grizzlies call themselves the new kids on the block. After winning District 13-6A in the regular season, and a dramatic comeback victory in the playoffs, it’s clear Grand Oaks has made a name for themselves.

Grand Oaks finished the game with a bang, but they also started it with one as well. After The Woodlands opened the scoring with an RBI single by Dylan Kerbow, Grand Oaks quickly tied the game, thanks to a Larry Drake leadoff home run. Two batters later, Shane Martin went deep to give Grand Oaks their first lead of the game.

The Woodlands added two runs in the second to take a 3-2 lead, then it was their turn to show off their power-hitting in the third. Conner Doucet’s solo HR gave the Highlanders a two-run lead. Sabala made his first contribution to the win with a Sac Fly to cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the third. It stayed a one-run game until The Woodlands grabbed a run in the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead into the seventh inning.

The Grizzlies were down to two outs when Kyle DeRusse walked. They were down to their final out when Jace Farnsworth and Martin (intentionally) walked, and they were down to their final strike when Sabala provided the game-winner.

Game 1 was a dramatic night for Grand Oaks, but they will need to refocus, as they now have a chance to win the series on Friday at 6 p.m.

Leading Hitters:

TW - Kerbow (3-4, 1 RBI), Sammy York (2-4), Brayden Sharp (1-2, 1 RBI)
GO - Sabala (2-2, 3 RBIs), Martin (2-3, 1 RBI), Drake (2-4, 1 RBI)


TW - Kerbow (6.2 IP, 5 Hs, 5 ERs, 6 SOs), James Marin (.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R)
GO - Jason Berger (1 IP, 3 Hs, 3 ERs), Carson McElroy (5.2 IP, 5 Hs, 1 ER, 3 SOs), DeRusse (1.1 IP, 1 H)

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