Streaking Stars escape with thrilling extra-inning victory over Seymour

SEYMOUR – Bedford North Lawrence scored in the top of the eighth inning, then escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the frame for a thrilling 8-7 victory over Seymour during high school baseball action on Monday.

The Stars (7-2 with six straight wins) rallied from a 7-6 deficit by scoring a run with two outs in the top of the seventh, then took the lead with Jonny Stone’s two-out RBI single in the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Owls (9-2) threatened with singles by Gavin Leavy and Jack Pennington, and an intentional walk to leadoff batter Bret Perry loaded the bases. BNL relief hurler Nate Pemberton, under ultimate pressure, struck out the next two batters, then got the final out on a fly ball to Walker Ward in right.

“How about that,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “That was something. Seymour’s win probability went way up there with the bases loaded. Nate did a great job. With the heart of their order up, he mowed them down and got the fly ball. It was nerve racking, but the kids battled all the way through. It was a fun night.”

The back-and-forth clash featured five lead changes. The Stars, who received votes in the latest Class 4A poll, struck first with two runs in the first (Kline Woodward’s sacrifice fly and Stone’s RBI double to right), but the Owls answered with two of their own (Vince Wilson stroked a two-out RBI single). Seymour took advantage of a BNL error for a 3-2 lead in the second.

The Stars scored twice in the third. Two walks set up RBI singles by Ryker Hughes and Carter Bennett. The Owls pulled even at 4-4, capitalizing on another BNL error.

BNL blasted back in front in the fifth. Ward and Stone singled, and Bennett banged out a two-run single. But in the bottom of the fifth, Seymour’s Treyton McCormick cracked a two-run double and later scored on a fly ball for a 7-6 advantage.

In the BNL seventh, Stone and Bennett both walked, both runners moved up on Maddox Ray’s ground out, and Stone scored on a wild pitch. In the eighth, Woodward reached on a error, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Stone’s clutch two-out hit. BNL scored three times with two outs.

“That is so key against good teams,” Callahan said. “That’s something we talk about every day.”

Stone and Hughes had three hits each, while Ward and Bennett (three RBIs) had two each. Pemberton earned the win on the mound, pitching three scoreless innings and striking out six.

Perry, Leavy and Pennington all had two hits each for the Owls.

BNL will return to action on Tuesday, visiting 4A No.1 Center Grove.

“We‘be played some good teams and have some good wins,” Callahan said. “We’ve played a competitive schedule and it’s nice to get recognized in the poll.

“The kids are pretty excited. Momentum in baseball is huge, and we have a great opportunity at Center Grove.”