By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence senior Will Adams was one nod of his head from perfection.
With one out in the sixth inning, flirting with a perfect game after retiring 16 consecutive Loogootee batters, Adams decided to shake off the sign from his catcher. He wanted to throw a two-strike curve ball to Loogootee’s Koen Waggner.
Remember what Lou Brown, the gruff manager in Major League, muttered? “Forget about the curve ball, Ricky, give him the heater.” Well, Will should have taken that advice, or at least listened to BNL catcher Jonny Stone. One hanging curve later, Waggner stroked a single to end Adams’ no-hit bid.
That was the only glitch. The Stars, with Adams pitching so brilliantly, celebrated Senior Day with a 10-0 victory over the Lions. Stone and Adams also had three RBIs each as BNL (17-10) capped the regular season with the perfect farewell for Adams, Stone and the rest of the senior class (Kaedyn Bennett, Nathan Pemberton, Cristos McCormick and Riley Pruett).
Adams cruised, striking out four and getting most of the other outs on weak fly balls. Even the Waggner single was a polite ground ball to center.
“That’s why you don’t call off your catcher,” Adams said. “First time all night I called him off. I left it hanging.
“The perfect game was in the back of my mind. But I honestly forgot until someone mentioned it. That’s the golden rule, you don’t talk about it.”
BNL also went a while (the first three innings against Loogootee starter Isaac Waggner) without a hit, then broke loose with six runs in the fourth. Cal Gate singled, Kline Woodward doubled, and Stone smacked a two-run single to center. Walker Ward singled in the next run, and Adams cracked a bases-loaded double to finish that burst.
The Stars made it 8-0 in the fifth (Bennett singled and Woodward crushed a home run to left), and triggered the mercy rule with two more in the sixth.
Bennett, Woodward and Stone all had two hits for BNL.
“It’s always nice to play well and have seniors come up in big spots,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “It’s nice to win. I was so proud of Will for a great effort on the mound. What a great kid he is. None better than him. I was glad to see him have success.”
BNL will now focus on the postseason. The Stars will battle Floyd Central in the opening game of the Class 4A sectional at New Albany on Wednesday, hoping to use the victory over the Lions (12-13) as a springboard.
“We hope so,” Callahan said. “That’s the plan. We will have to battle against whomever they throw out there. We’ll have to make some things happen. You never know.”
New Albany will face Jennings County in the second game on Wednesday. Jeffersonville and Seymour drew the byes into the second semifinal on Saturday.