May 26, 2007

Highland Park - 12; Brownwood - 0

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

"Highland Park marches on in style: Team advances with dominant performance in one-game playoff," Al Pickett, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Morning News Online, 03:06 AM CDT on Sunday, May 27, 2007.

ABILENE – Will Russell drove in a five runs Saturday night, lifting Highland Park to a 12-0 victory over Brownwood in a Region II-4A semifinal game at Abilene Christian University's Crutcher Scott Field.

Originally scheduled as a best-of-3 series in Weatherford, the two teams had to resort to a one-game playoff after finally finding a dry field in Abilene. Highland Park will face Mesquite Poteet next weekend in the regional final for the right to advance to the Class 4A state tournament in Round Rock.

While Russell was providing the offensive punch, Highland Park right-hander Evan Blakeley was nearly unhittable. Blakeley gave up two hits and struck out 10.

"My curveball was working well," Blakeley said. "I just had to keep it low and away. I was using my fastball to set up the curve."

Russell's two-out, bases-loaded single in the third inning gave Highland Park an early 2-0 lead.

The Scots then put the game out of reach with six runs in the fourth inning.

RICKY MOON / Special to Dallas Morning
News Highland Park's Jonathan Perlman dives
to knock down a line drive during the first inning
of the team's win over Brownwood.

Consecutive singles by Ryan O'Dwyer, Nathan Venz and Andrew Scates loaded the bases, and Joey Hainsfurther drove in two runs with a single. Walks to Nick Flabiano and Dutch Crews re-loaded the bases and forced in another run. Russell then delivered a bases-clearing double into the gap in right-center field to stretch Highland Park's lead to 8-0.

"I'm seeing the ball big right now," Russell said. "I knew I'd come through."

Russell was 3-for-4 to lead Highland Park's 10-hit attack.

Highland Park ended it on the 10-run rule with four runs in the fifth inning. The big play was a bases-loaded triple by Crews.