HS Baseball: Sensational Sixth Inning Leads to Highlander Comeback

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 03/23/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Highlanders forged a 7-6 comeback win over the Conroe Tigers, with a momentum-changing effort in the sixth inning being the catalyst.

Both teams appeared to be evenly matched through the first two innings of play under the Saturday afternoon sun.

The winds began to change in the top of the third, with the Tigers taking steps toward a potential victory.

It started with a pair of infield singles from Conroe and a walk issued by the Highlanders to load the bags. A shot from Jackson Todd rang through Scotland Yard for the game’s first run, but the Tigers were not finished with their gifted situation. An RBI from Dominic Salas compounded the issue for the Highlanders, and then a back-breaking double steal brought in a 3-0 lead for Conroe after an explosive top of the third.

The Highlanders could only muster a single run in response in the bottom of the fourth, but the hopes of a comeback were lingering inside The Woodlands’ dugout.

In an exclusive interview with The Woodlands Online Sports, Highlander Head Coach Ron Eastman spoke on the relentless mindset of his team through adversity.

“We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’ve seen some strange things happen,” said Eastman. “You’ve got to play seven innings, and we tried to keep these guys understanding that.”

The issue only worsened for The Woodlands when the Tigers reignited their bats in the top of the fifth.

Conroe batters swung relentlessly and efficiently from the plate, with three singles immediately bringing home a runner to extend the lead. Another stolen base resituated runners in scoring position before RBIs from Salas and Gavin Stanger pushed the Tigers ahead 6-1.

With their backs against the wall and time running out, the Highlanders needed an all-in push to capture the game in its final moments.

Signs of Highlander hope showed themselves to start the bottom of the sixth, with a lead-off single from Cash Clayton getting a runner aboard. What followed was a string of errors, walks, and general miscues from Conroe that kept the bases in a perpetual loaded state with none out.

The Tigers looked to escape the situation with pitching changes, but The Woodlands feasted on the increasingly pressured arms sent to the mound by Conroe.

An RBI from Erich Daigle brought the game within one run of tying before a walk tied the game at six runs apiece. The wheels fell completely off when a wild pitch brought in Brady Breedlove for the lead-clinching run going into the top of the seventh.

“It’s high school baseball. Anything is possible,” said Eastman. “It ended up that we were able to make really good plays near the end and execute perfectly under pressure.”

The momentum never left the Highlanders following their sensational sixth inning. Even with a lead-off single from Conroe eventually putting Eli Medina into scoring position, Breedlove was able to make the game-sealing play at second by tossing the final out of the game.

A combined effort of clean-up pitching from the Highlanders, their bats igniting at the right time, and their fielding eliminating mistakes lead to The Woodlands taking a 7-6 win into a further gauntlet of district competition.

“I think it could be huge down the road,” said Eastman. “It’s good for us to look forward, and hopefully, we can keep building momentum.”

The Highlanders aim to get their momentum in a home matchup against Grand Oaks on Tuesday, while Conroe hopes to bounce back against the district’s top team in Oak Ridge.

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