April 5, 2007

Highland Park - 8; Mesquite Poteet - 3

Winning Pitcher: Evan Blakeley, Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas

"... Skeptics pointed out the district streak began by beating the three teams at the bottom of the 10-4A standings. The Scots silenced that crowd with an 8-3 thumping of first-place and previous-undefeated Mesquite Poteet last Thursday. Evan Blakeley got the win, and combined with Wyatt Holliday on a five-hitter. The win was especially sweet for Holliday, who took the loss in the teams’ first meeting despite pitching a two-hitter in a 2-0 loss."

- "Offense Boosting HP Back Into Playoff Contention: Scots’ power at the plate leads to 8-3, 10-0 wins over 10-4A’s top teams," Scott Farrell, Sports Editor, PARK CITIES PEOPLE Issue Date: April 13, 2007, Posted On: 4/13/2007, Staff photos: Jeremy Chesnutt

 

Seth Gardner, 5, is welcomed at the plate by Highland Park teammates after hitting a three-run home run that sparked the Scots to an 8-3 win over first-place Mesquite Poteet last Thursday. Gardner has eight RBI in the last three games.
HEATH – Maybe it was a matter of offense all along, and not defensive questions that plagued Highland Park early in the district schedule.

It hardly matters now, as both sides of the baseball coin have had a shiny glean during the Scots’ current win streak, which reached six Tuesday night with a 10-0 smash over second-place Rockwall-Heath. The road win puts HP (20-8, 6-4) one game behind Heath for third place and the final playoff spot with four games to play.

There was plenty of offense Tuesday in HP’s nine-hit attack that produced a 20th win on the season, assisted by aggressive base running. Seth Gardner led the charge with a two-run home run, and Ryan O’Dwyer came through in the middle of the order with three RBI on a 2-for-3 night. Will Russell also had two hits and scored twice.

Meanwhile, a combined three hitter by Bradley Stephenson and Wyatt Holliday didn’t require any extraordinary plays from the defense.

The turnaround in the past three weeks has been remarkable, giving new life to the Scots after a 1-4 start to District 10-4A play almost took them out of the postseason picture. Defensive miscues marred the start of district play, as the Scots gave up 20 runs the first four games, more than half of them unearned. That coincided with a team-wide drought at the plate that produced only 12 runs in the same four games.


Wyatt Holliday has come on in relief in the Scots’ last two games, shutting down opponents and helping extend HP’s current six-game win streak.

That’s all behind the Scots now, as they’ve become stingy from the mound and on defense while attacking opposing pitchers at the plate. HP has outscored its opponents 39-12 during its five-game district win streak. HP began its overall six-game streak with a 17-8 barrage over Colleyville Heritage at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Skeptics pointed out the district streak began by beating the three teams at the bottom of the 10-4A standings. The Scots silenced that crowd with an 8-3 thumping of first-place and previous-undefeated Mesquite Poteet last Thursday. Evan Blakeley got the win, and combined with Wyatt Holliday on a five-hitter. The win was especially sweet for Holliday, who took the loss in the teams’ first meeting despite pitching a two-hitter in a 2-0 loss.

HP hit plenty of long balls against Poteet, highlighted by Seth Gardner’s three-run shot over left field as part of a five-run fifth inning that opened the game up. Russell, Andrew Scates, Duth Crews, Gardner (again), and O’Dwyer each had extra-base hits among HP’s nine hits.

The next two games likely hold HP’s fate. The Scots host second-place Richardson Pearce at 7:30 p.m. April 13, then host fourth-place Forney at 7:30 p.m. April 20. Wins are essential in each game to continue HP’s ascension and for positioning in any potential playoff tiebreakers.