May 11, 2007

Highland Park - 4; Texas High - 3

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

- "Tigers suffer loss to Highland Park, 4-3," Johnny Green, Sports Director, Texarkana Gazette, Saturday, May 12, 2007.

TYLER, Texas The dreaded leadoff walk. Texas High learned just how dreadful it can be Friday at UT-Tylers Irwin Field.

After rallying to tie the game in the sixth inning, sophomore left-hander Josh Turley walked the first two Highland Park batters in the top of the seventh, leading to the winning run in the Scots 4-3 victor in the rain-delayed opener of a best-of-three Class 4A area baseball series.

The two teams meet in Game 2 at 11 a.m. today with the Tigers needing a sweep to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Except for the walks (5), Turley matched unbeaten Scots right-hander Evan Blakeley (7-0) pitch for pitch, striking out seven and yielding just six hits.

Texas High got seven hits off Blakeley, including David Alldays long solo home run.

‘Josh pitched a heckuva game’ said THS coach Glenn Welch. ‘He may have been a little tired in the seventh inning when he walked the leadoff batter. But he got out of the inning OK.

‘I was proud of the way the kids battled back from being down 3-0. They werent intimidated at all by Highland Park, which is a good team. Well see what we can do tomorrow.

Allday was in the middle of Texas Highs two-run rally that tied the game in the sixth. Turley singled off the pitchers glove to open the inning and was forced at second on John Stilsons grounder to third.

But Allday singled to right-center chasing Stilson to third, and Josh Eaton singled past second base to make it 3-2.

Slade Heathcott laced a 1-1 pitch to the right of the first baseman, sending pinch runner Duncan Robbins to the plate with the tying run. The relay throw beat Duncan, but the catcher juggled the ball on the tag.

The rally ended when Eaton was out at the plate trying to score on a tap back to the pitcher, and Hunter Allday grounded to first.

But the Scots (29-8) came right back in the top of the seventh. After Turley walked the first two batters, Nick Flabiano slammed a drive over the second basemans head for the go-ahead run. The Tigers escaped further damage by turning their second double play of the game.

Richard Wrightner walked with one out in the Tiger seventh, but was doubled off first on Turleys line drive to right field, ending the game.

Seth Gardner, whose single was the only hit off Turley through three innings, opened the fourth with a fly ball that landed just inside the line in right field, opening the gates for a three-run Scots rally.

Turley slipped on the wet turf as Will Russell placed a perfect bunt to the right of the mound for a hit, and Dutch Crews lined a single to center, breaking the scoreless tie.Turley fanned the next two batters but hit Jonathan Perlman with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.

Ninth-place batter Andrew Scates walked on a 3-2 pitch forcing in the second run, and Turley wild-pitched another home before finishing the inning with a third strikeout.

Allday, who signed with Texarkana College on Thursday, put the Tigers on the board in the bottom of the inning with a long blast that cleared the giant scoreboard in right field, his first homer of the season.

Highland Park 000 300 1 - 4 6 1

Texas High 000 102 0 - 3 7 0

Evan Blakeley and Andrew Scates. Josh Turley and Josh Eaton. WP-Blakeley (7-0). LP-Turley (8-3). HR: TH-David Allday, 4th, none on.