NORTH VERNON – Jennings County exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to bury Bedford North Lawrence 11-1 during high school baseball action on Tuesday.
The Panthers (17-9) turned a tense clash into a mercy-rule victory with their late eruption, handing the Stars (10-14) their fifth consecutive loss. Jennings ace Jacob Vogel, an Indiana University recruit, fired a no-hitter but didn’t escape danger until his offense cut loose.
Jennings took the lead in the third on a two-run single by Cole Sigler. BNL, even while failing to solve Vogel, scratched out a run in the sixth when Maddox Ray reached on an error, Trace Rynders sacrificed, Ryker Hughes walked, and Ray scored on a second error of the frame.
But the Panthers responded against Hughes and the Stars in the bottom half of the inning. Vogel started the rally with a double, and Hughes issued a walk and hit two batters to force in a run. Austin Martin dropped down a bunt single to make it 4-1. Another run scored on a passed ball.
Nate Pemberton came on in relief and got a second out, but Jennings finished the runaway with a hit batter to force in a run, Carson McNulty’s bases-loaded double, Vogel’s RBI double, and Austin Byford’s walk-off RBI single.
Vogel (4-1) struck out 10. Vogel and Sigler both had two hits.
“Vogel is the real deal,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “When he can throw 90 and get his secondary pitches over, he is really good. We got back into the game by scratching out a run in the top of the sixth, but in the bottom of the inning we gave them some free bases and then the inning snowballed on us.
“We need to get back to competing on every pitch. Baseball is tough game, and right now we are letting the game beat us up physically and mentally.”
BNL, which has lost four in a row to Hoosier Hills Conference competition, will seek to end the skid when it hosts Providence (12-8 and the defending Class 2A state champion) on Thursday.