Travis Yoder will always have a place in his heart for Adamson, the school that launched his head coaching career.
But he still had no qualms about seeing Highland Park eliminate the Leopards from the Class 4A Region II baseball playoffs on Saturday. The Scots swept the area-round series with a 7-1 victory at Scotland Yard after winning the series opener 3-0 on Friday.
With the win, HP advances to meet Prosper next week in the regional quarterfinals, at a time and site to be determined. Prosper topped the Scots 4-3 in a tournament game earlier this season.
On Saturday, the Scots (24-12) stretched their postseason winning streak to four against a scrappy Adamson team that Yoder coached for five seasons before joining the HP staff.
“It got me started in coaching,” Yoder said of his stint with the Leopards, which included three playoff appearances. “That was special to play my old team. They’ve got a good program over there.”
Still, his old team was no match for Yoder’s current team, which yielded just one run and six hits during the series. On Friday, Layne Looney pitched a two-hit shutout to remain unbeaten on the season.
In Game 2, HP built a 7-0 lead by the fourth inning against Adamson pitcher Fransico Cardozo and cruised from there.
Kyle Robertson crushed a solo home run in the second inning. Cooper Chaltas had two hits and scored twice for the Scots. Jon Skidmore also contributed two hits, including a two-run single in the fourth, and Matthew White drove in two runs.
That balanced offensive effort was complemented by three HP pitchers – Grant Howell, Ryan Buss, and Brandt Gros – who combined to hold the scrappy Leopards (15-6) to four hits. The only Adamson run of the series came on a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the fifth.
While he’s happy to advance, Yoder knows the Scots will need to play better against the Eagles, who shared the District 9-4A title during the regular season.
“When you’re in the playoffs, a win is a win,” Yoder said. “You can’t play the way we played and think we’re going to [beat Prosper]. We’ve got some things to work on. We’ve got to get back to basics.”