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Stars hit ‘em where Eagles ain’t during 12-2 win | WBIW
Monday, April 3, 2023

By Justin Sokeland -

BEDFORD – Hit ‘em where they ain’t. That was Willie Keeler’s simple hitting strategy. Got him to the Hall of Fame. Bedford North Lawrence discovered that approach works quite well. There’s actually all kinds of gaps out there, and the Stars found them.

BNL revved up its offense with six extra-base hits, including Ryker Hughes’ laser-beam blast that traveled where no one stands, while pounding out an impressive 12-2, six-inning triumph over Austin on Monday afternoon.

The Stars (2-2) cranked out 14 total hits. Which was more impressive, that offensive assault or the pitching of Cade Mungle (1-0) and Nate Pemberton, who combined to total nine strikeouts and allow only four hits? There’s no wrong answer.

“Happy with both, but the offense was pleasing to see,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “We had a lot of contact, extra-bases hits. Up and down the lineup, we had a better approach. We did a good job at the plate.”

After the Eagles (2-1) scored in the first, BNL got busy. The Stars scored twice in the first as Cal Gates tripled, Kaedyn Bennett singled him home, and Hughes followed with a two-out triple to right-center. In the second, Jonny Stone, Pemberton and Bennett all doubled for a 5-1 lead.

BNL pulled away in the fourth with a five-run burst. With two outs, Kline Woodward cranked a long drive to the fence in deep left-center and reached when the ball bounced off the outfielder’s glove. Mungle singled, and Hughes scorched a line-drive home run to left for a 9-2 lead.

“We scored a lot of runs with two outs, and that’s big,” Callahan said.

Hughes connected on the first pitch from Austin reliever Tracer LaMaster. He had one thought.

“Be aggressive,” Hughes said. “He had just come in, and I knew the first pitch would be a fastball. I was just looking for it.”

Walker Ward finished off the mercy-rule win with a walk-off slashed single to center that chased home Cristos McCormick with the final run. Stone had 3 hits while Hughes (triple and homer), Bennett (3 RBIs), Mungle, Gates and Pemberton had two apiece.

“Nate has done a 180 this year,” Callahan said. “He’s been a great leader, both at the plate and on the mound. At shortstop, he has to be a leader, and he’s doing a heck of a job for us. The more reps we get, we want to see what kind of depth we have and who we can depend on.”

Mungle struck out six in four innings. Pemberton fanned three in his two innings of one-hit relief.

“I had a feeling this would be a good year for all of us,” Hughes said. “It’s paid off with the hard work.”

The Stars will entertain Scottsburg on Thursday.

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Meaning of a BNL Baseball Player

Being a BNL Baseball player is an honor and wearing "Stars" across your chest gives our players a sense of pride and confidence.

B= Be coachable
N= Nobody outworks us
L= Locked in and focused
S = So what, next pitch
T = Two hundred feet
A = Attitude is everything
R = Respect the game
S = Selfless

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