Highland Park just finished the regular season by winning 21 consecutive games and claiming the District 10-6A title. But this week, the slate is wiped clean.
The Scots will start postseason play with a Class 6A Region II bi-district series against Irving MacArthur. The first game will be Friday night in Irving, with the second game (and third, if necessary) on Saturday at HP.
It will be a rematch of a first-round series from last season, which the Scots swept. And HP certainly will be favored again, despite likely having to face Cardinals ace Jake Lyons in one of the first two games.
MacArthur (14-12) finished in fourth place in District 9-6A after dropping its last four regular-season games — two each against district frontrunners Jesuit and Irving Nimitz.
The Scots (25-5), meanwhile, haven’t lost since the McKinney tournament in early March. They outscored their opponents by a combined 80-13 during their 14 district games, and while their offensive numbers aren’t flashy, their pitching has been among the best in the Dallas area.
HP’s three-man rotation of William Adair, Grant Howell, and Sawyer Lake should fit well into the best-of-three postseason format.
The winner of the series will face either Garland Lakeview Centennial or Belton next week in the area round, but fans might be excused if they peek ahead to the potential matchup in the regional quarterfinals.
Barring any upsets, that would mean a highly anticipated rematch between the Scots and Jesuit, which eliminated HP in the same round a year ago and has the pitching depth to match up. It would be a chance not only for the Scots to avenge last year’s sweep, but also to end its streak of three straight third-round exits.
But the postseason march includes two hurdles before then, beginning with a MacArthur team that would like some revenge of its own.