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Stars knock off 3rd rank Bulldogs in HHC
Saturday, May 17, 2014

BY SEAN DUNCAN sduncan@schurz.com

BEDFORD — Whatever struggles the Bedford North Lawrence baseball team have had earlier this season, the Stars are now on a roll.

Less than 24 hours after knocking off Class 4A, top-ranked Floyd Central in the consolation bracket of the Hoosiers Hills Conference Tournament, BNL struck again Friday night.


This time the suddenly surging Stars bumped off third-ranked New Albany, 5-4, to claim fifth in the HHC.


“I guess if you’re going to have to go to the loser’s bracket consolation it makes it better if you can beat two real quality teams,” said BNL coach Jeff Callahan. “It helps playing here at home and our kids came out last night and tonight with confidence and wanting to play well and we did both nights.


“We threw strikes better and made some plays in the field and that’s what baseball is all about. Getting some timely hits on offense, throwing strikes and making plays. It’s a hard game, but it’s a simple game and if you can do those two things you’re going to give yourself a chance to win every time you go out on the field.”


BNL led start to finish, scoring a pair of runs off New Albany starter Joey Collins in the first inning.


Tanner Tow drove in Ronnie Watson with a groundout to second before Cole Mathews crushed an RBI double to score courtesy runner Bristol Anderson.


Dylan Ragsdale (2-0) got the start for the Stars and held the Bulldogs at bay for five innings, giving up three hits and only one run.


“We have struggled this week,” said New Albany coach Chris McIntyre. “We have lived off our offense for most of the year and we’ve really struggled at the plate. We’re swinging at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone, which when you swing out of the strike zone you’re cutting down on the number of walks you’re going to get.”


Trailing 5-1 entering the sixth inning, New Albany finally got its bats going.


The Bulldogs tallied three runs in the frame to cut the BNL lead to 5-4, but left the base loaded.


Mason Mack recorded the save for the Stars, retiring the New Albany side in order in the seventh.


A controversial call in the in the fourth inning left New Albany wondering, ‘what if’.


Timmie Redman hit what appeared to be a sacrifice fly to left field to score A.J. Nixon and cut the BNL lead to 3-2, but the home plate umpire ruled Nixon had left early. BNL checked the play at third and Nixon was called out to end the inning.


“I’m not a guy a that spends a lot of time arguing with umpires, I really don’t,” McIntyre said. “I worry about my team more than I do the umpires, but he flat out missed the call. He jumped on it because they were yelling, ‘throw the ball to third’. It wasn’t even close.


“It was a bad call. It looks big now, but in the scheme of things it’s probably not that big of a deal because we hurt ourselves with some base running and swinging at bad pitches. But it was a bad call.”


Mathews finished  3 for 3 for the Stars with two RBIs, while Tow went 1 for 2 with a run scored and an RBI.


“Even when they get down in the count they still keep battling and still get good contact on the ball,” Callahan said. “I’m real proud of them just as I am with all of the kids.”


BNL (11-11) is back in action Tuesday when he travels to Jennings County.