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Stars sweep 2 from Warriors
Saturday, April 12, 2014

BY JEFF BARTLETT jeffb@tmnews.com TMNews.com

BEDFORD — If Bedford North Lawrence’s opening win over Scottsburg played like a Lou Reed hit — there was many a walk on the wild side — then Game 2 hummed along more like a peaceful, easy feeling Saturday at windy-but-sunny Stars Field.

BNL head coach Jeff Callahan was glad to know his young team could move to either rhythm as the Stars swept the Warriors, 16-6 and 4-2.

“We won one without pitching real well and a couple of errors, but really hitting the ball, and then we got one with solid pitching and defense and a few timely hits,” he said. “Either way, we came out and got the job done and did what we were supposed to do.”

In between 18 combined walks issued by the teams in the opener, BNL brought out the boom sticks with 13 hits, including five for extra bases. Senior Tanner Tow had five RBIs on two hits, including a shot in which he put the Tow in towering with a 375-foot home run that cleared the concession stand in dead center field.

“Tanner is just a great hitter,” Callahan said. “In the first series at Vincennes he was pressing and trying to do too much, so I just told him to relax and play. He’s been on a tear ever since.”

Jack Green got the Stars on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single, and BNL plated five more in the second as Dillon Hensley led off with a double, Blaze Byrer cracked an RBI single up the middle, Jake Alvey singled to left, and Drew Hensley hammered an RBI double off the fence in left-center. That set the stage for Tow’s mammoth three-run blast, his second home run of the season.

The Stars needed all the runs because it was a day in which lefty Byrer couldn’t locate the plate consistently. The junior issued six walks in 2-1/3 innings, and it led to four runs for the Warriors in the third.

Sophomore Dakota Terrell came on and had two more walks, but settled down and pitched well from there, allowing just one earned run and fanning five.

“Blaze had some trouble with his breaking ball and just  had one of those days, but Dakota came on and did a nice job,” Callahan said. “He threw strikes for the most part and got us out of a tough situation.”

BNL busted it open in the fifth by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs off reliever Christian Beswick, who suffered five walks, two hit batsmen, five wild pitches and six hits in two innings of work. Cole Mathews started the outburst with a double to deep left, and Dillon Hensley beat out a great bunt for a hit.

Hensley swiped second, and Brody Tanksley delivered a two-run single to left-center. Tow added a two-run single, and an error and wild pitch pushed it to 13-4.

A couple of BNL errors opened the door for two runs for Scottsburg in the top of the sixth, but the Stars ended it early in the bottom half. Tanksley singled, Johnny Underwood and Alvey walked, Bristol Anderson was plunked to force in a run, Patrick Price had a sacrifice fly, and Mathews ended it with a single.

“We hit the ball well up and down the lineup, but we’re going to have to be a team that throws strikes and makes a lot of plays,” Callahan said. “We’ve had too many walks and extended things with errors, so we have to shore up those things.”

Mason Mack took pretty good care of the pitching in the second game as the sophomore southpaw shook off a tough start to get his first varsity win. His wicked curveball was working well, and he allowed just five hits, one earned run, walked none and fanned three in five innings. Mathews, a freshman right-hander, pitched the final two frames and struck out the side in the seventh.

“Mason had a nice performance,” Callahan said. “I’ve always had a lot of confidence in him, and he had a tough outing at Brown County, but bounced right back. One thing that’s great about Mason is he lets things go and just comes back ready to go next time.

“Cole threw well, too, and did a really nice job fielding his position.”

The Warriors nicked Mack for two in the second, keyed by a leadoff triple from Kyle Baker, but that was it. Scottsburg righty Jacob Clay held  BNL at bay for three innings, but the Stars drew even in the fourth on hits by Price, Green and Dillon Hensley.

Tow made Clay pay for hitting Drew Hensley with a two-out, two-strike pitch in the fifth. Tow pounded an RBI double that burned right fielder Wes Chapman to make it 3-2. BNL got a big insurance run in the sixth when Mathews reached on Scottsburg’s lone miscue, and scored on Tanksley’s two-out single.

BNL (3-3) travels to Bloomington South Monday night.

Contact Times-Mail Sports Writer Jeff Bartlett at 277-7285, jeffb@tmnews.com, or on Twitter @jeffbtmnews