Talk about drama. The opening round of the City Section Open Division baseball playoffs on Wednesday produced walk-off victories by Birmingham, Cleveland and Granada Hills.
The two-time defending City Section champion Patriots were down to their final strike against San Fernando in the bottom of the seventh inning down 4-2. Kevin Olmos lined a single. Then the bases became loaded with two outs after a hit batter. Up came Alex Ballesteros, who cleared the bases with a walk-off double and a 5-4 victory. Birmingham will play at No. 1-seeded San Pedro on Friday.
Cleveland was down 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh against Chatsworth and pitcher Steve Gomez. But the Cavaliers rallied for a 4-3 victory on a walk-off two-run double by Dustin Aubry. Cleveland will be at Sun Valley Poly on Friday.
Granada Hills and Carson were locked in a 0-0 game when Alex Becerra led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run for a 1-0 victory. Granada Hills will be at Palisades on Friday. Freshman Drew Gustafson threw a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts.
Kennedy held on for a 7-6 win over Roosevelt and will be at El Camino Real on Friday. Omar Rodriguez had two hits.
In Division I, Sylmar defeated Hamilton 8-0. Andrew Jaime struck out nine and walked none. Frank Garcia had three hits.
North Hollywood defeated Westchester 5-4. Ryan Monreal had three hits. Verdugo Hills defeated Taft 4-1. Banning defeated Franklin 9-1.