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Stars walk away with 6-5 victory over Devils
Friday, April 21, 2023

Stars walk away with 6-5 victory over Devils

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – After so many squandered opportunities, Bedford North Lawrence made the most of the last chance.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, the Stars pushed across two runs (without the benefit of a base hit) while rallying for a tough 6-5 victory over Hoosier Hills Conference rival Jeffersonville on Thursday evening. Cal Gates chased home pinch runner Will Adams with the winning run as BNL celebrated in walk-off style for the third time this season.

Frustration had been BNL’s unwanted friend after a four-run first. The Stars (9-3) left the bases loaded twice, stranded a total of 10 runners. The Red Devils (6-6) rallied for runs in the fifth and sixth innings to go in front, and the BNL seventh started innocently when Jonny Stone flied out softly to right.

But then the door cracked open when Ryker Hughes drew a walk from reliever Cole Singleton. The crack became an inviting gap when Hughes stole second to reach scoring position, then wiped third as Cade Mungle drew a walk. Maddox Ray tapped a grounder to third, and Hughes slid in with the tying run when he knocked the ball away from Jeff catcher Abe Vancampen.

“A win is a win,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “Any win is a good win.”

This will count as a good one, considering Jeffersonville struck for three runs in the first. Jaret Phillips cranked a two-run single as the first four Jeff batters reached against BNL starter Walker Ward. But after that rocky beginning, he settled into a grove.

Meanwhile, the Stars answered with four runs in the bottom of the first against Jeff hurler Caiden White. Gates walked, Kaedyn Bennett reached on an error, and Kline Woodward banged a RBI single. Ward followed with a RBI single, and Hughes hammered a two-run double.

BNL couldn’t extend the lead, leaving the bases loaded in the second and third innings. That’s why the late rally was necessary.

“It shouldn’t have come down to that,” Callahan said. “We left guys all over the bases. We had chances, and we work on that in practice – get that run in. We couldn’t get it in., But we did enough in the bottom of the seventh.”

Jeffersonville drew even at 4-4 in the fifth when Ryan Crawford drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk. In the sixth, the Devils took the lead on Ethan Durbin’s double and Brett Denby’s RBI single.

Denby was 3-for-3 as the Devils totaled 8 hits.

Woodward, Ward and Hughes all had two hits for the Stars. Woodward earned the win in relief, working 2 1/3 innings and allowing only three hits.

BNL could see the Devils again, either in the HHC Tournament or the Class 4A sectional. This win moved the Stars higher up in the hierarchy.

“It’s a tough sectional,” Callahan said. “Floyd will be the favorite with the arms they have, but the more wins you can get, in tight games, it will pay off in the long run.”

The Stars will return to action on Monday, hosting Linton.

BNL’s Walker Ward struck out 5 in 4 2/3 innings on the mound.

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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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