EVANSVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence’s first road trip of the 2022 season started with the thrill of victory and ended in the agony of walk-off disappointment – a two-game split of a doubleheader – when Evansville Reitz rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday afternoon.
After the Stars (3-3) rolled past Evansville Christian 13-0 in the first game of the two-site twinbill, the Panthers (3-2) battled from a 5-0 deficit and scored four in their final chance for a thrilling 6-5 victory in the finale.
“We will see some growing plains through the season,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “We had one today.”
Game 1 vs Evansville Christian: In the first game, freshman Cal Gates and Will Adams combined on a three-hit shutout. Gates was dominate during the first four innings, striking out 10, and Adams didn’t allow a hit until one out in the sixth.
The Stars scored twice in the first. Gates singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Jonny Stone’s RBI single. After pinch runner Maddox Ray stole second, Kline Woodward singled for the second run. BNL added two more in the fourth on Kaedyn Bennett’s RBI single and Nate Pemberton’s sacrifice fly, then added two more in the fifth on Ryker Hughes’ RBI double. Hughes later scored on a passed ball.
BNL added seven more runs in the seventh as Tate Tanksley drove in a run with a bases-loaded infield single, Walker Ward delivered a two-run single, and Stone drove in a run with a ground out. Woodward tripled in a run and scored when Hughes reached on EC’s third error.
Hughes was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and scored twice, while Gates had 2 hits. Woodward had two hits and two RBIs.
”Cal pitched really well in his first start,’ Callahan said. “They both did a nice job and the defense made plays behind them.”
Game 2 vs Evansville Reitz: The Stars raced in front quickly with a run in the second. Woodward doubled, Hughes reached on an infield single, and Woodward scored in Kylar Fisher’s ground out. BNL went up 3-0 in the third as Gates singled, stole second, Stone reached on an error as Gates scored, and Woodward cracked a RBI double to right.
In the fifth, Gates smacked a single, Woodward blasted a run-scoring double to right, and Hughes laced a RBI double to left for the 5-0 lead.
Reitz started its comeback with two runs in the sixth on Pierce Herrenbruck’s two-double double. In the seventh, the Panthers opened with Gavin Schippert’s double, Stone Silver’s single, and Kiefer Parsons’ game-tying home run. After two walks, Owen Cape delivered the walk-off hit, stroking a RBI single.
Woodward was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Gates and Hughes had two hits each. Hughes pitched the first five innings and allowed only two hits while working around seven walks. Pemberton suffered the loss, giving up five hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings.
“As we said before, sometimes 21 outs is tough to get,” Callahan said. “We won a game earlier we should have lost, and now we lost a game should have won. Ryker pitched well, and tat was good to see. That was bright spot and we had some big hits. We just weren’t able to hang on.”
BNL will host Bloomington South on Monday.