"Scots Bow Out in Extra Innings: HP lacks clutch hits against Mesquite Poteet’s ace pitcher," Scott Farrell http://www.evanblakeley.name/evanblakeley_photos/scott_farrell_park_cities_news20070608.jpg, Sports Editor, Park Cities People http://www.peoplenewspapers.com/, Issue Date: June 8, 2007; Post Date: June 8, 2007, Volume 25, Issue 23, Page 6A.

COLLEYVILLE – Highland Park sparked a comeback from a 3-0 deficit with a 10-hit attack against one of the state’s top pitchers. Clutch hits, however, remained at a premium in the Region II-4A championship game on June 1.

Staff photos: Christina Barany
Jonathan Perlman (20) checks to see where the ball is while rounding second base in the sixth inning.
Perlman was 2-for-4 in the game. http://www.evanblakeley.name/evanblakeley_photos/baseball01_7.jpg

In the end, Mesquite Poteet got the one hit it had to have while the Scots missed on its few opportunities in a 4-3, eight-inning loss to the Pirates. The loss closed HP’s season with a 33-10 record and one game away from the state tournament for a second consecutive season.

As expected, the one-game playoff at Colleyville Heritage High School started out as a pitchers’ duel between HP’s Evan Blakeley and Poteet’s Teddy Nowell, a tough left-hander who entered the game with a 15-0 record. But defensive plays from both teams made the bigger difference than the work from the mound.

HP first baseman Nathan Venz, right, had Poteet’s Jonathan Figueroa (14) pegged at first base on a pickoff attempt, but the umpire called Figueroa safe in the third inning play. http://www.evanblakeley.name/baseball03_4.jpg

A dropped pop fly in foul territory by HP in the third inning led to three unearned runs for Poteet. Blakeley had worked out of a jam with two runners on with two outs when he got Poteet’s Nick Carrio to pop up behind first base. The catch wasn’t made, and Carrio lined the next pitch into right field for a two-RBI double and a 2-0 Poteet lead. Brett Doe followed with an RBI-single to make it 3-0.

Dutch Crews brought the Scots right back in the fourth inning, homering off Nowell with a shot over the left field fence to bring to bring in two runs. The early success against Nowell made the 3-2 deficit even more nagging, and the Scots were too anxious in the following innings.

HP lost its best shot at the lead in fifth inning. Crews’ single brought in Joey Hainsfurther with the tying run, but despite the Scots managing three hits in the inning, two outs came on the base paths while batting through the heart of the order.

“We had our opportunities, we just didn’t get the hits when we really needed them,” said HP coach Sam Roberson, who returned the Scots to the regional final in his first year at the helm. “Their pitcher was 15-0 for a reason.”

HP kept chipping away at Nowell with six hits through the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. But the hits the Scots needed turned into groundouts, as Poteet got six of those nine outs on force-outs at second base or throws to first.

HP also lost its leadoff hitter to start the seventh inning on a double play started by a lineout.

Poteet got three singles in the eighth inning to drive in the winning run.

Will Russell rarely saw a good pitch to hit against Poteet. The senior walked twice in four plate appearances. http://www.evanblakeley.name/baseball02_6.jpg

The loss overshadowed some keen performances for the Scots. Crews was 2-for-4 with the home run part of his three RBI. Flabiano was also 2-for-4 with an infield single that put him on base ahead of Crews’ home run. Jonathan Perlman hit two

singles, and Venz’s double in the third inning was HP’s first hit off Nowell and one of his two hits. Will Russell drew two of HP’s four walks.

Blakeley worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, and finished with nine strikeouts battling through eight innings of work.

Crayton Bare (15), Will Landess (17), Sam Davison (10), and Adam Foster (21) were among the first Scots out of the dugout to congratulate Dutch Crews after his home run in the fourth inning. http://www.evanblakeley.name/baseball04_2.jpg

“I’m proud of the kids for getting themselves into (the regional final),” Roberson said. “They did a lot since March 24. You look back and all those wins stand out more than one loss.”