A lack of depth and experience might have caught up to Highland Park in the first round of the Class 5A Region II playoffs.
The Scots were eliminated in three games by Hallsville, including a lopsided 12-2 defeat in five innings on Saturday at Rockwall-Heath. It marks the first time in seven years that HP didn’t advance past the bi-district round.
The teams split the first two games of the best-of-three, with each team winning on its home field. Hallsville pitcher Cooper Rawls was the star of the series opener, allowing just one hit during a 5-0 shutout.
However, HP battled back to tie the series with a scrappy 5-4 win at Scotland Yard, keyed by a three-run rally in the sixth inning. Aaron Plotkin homered and Cory Wanic doubled as part of the comeback, while Alex Durham was the winning pitcher in relief.
In the finale, the Bobcats (23-8) gained momentum early. They broke the game open with four runs in the third inning and put the game away with another four runs in the fifth.
The Scots (14-18) finished the season by dropping seven of their last nine games. That swoon immediately followed HP’s best victory of the year — a 2-1 win over Forney on April 12 that briefly put the Scots over the .500 mark for the only time this year.