Walk-off hit in 8th inning lifts Jennings to 5-4 win over BNL

NORTH VERNON – Jennings County’s Sam Burkman delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Panthers clipped Bedford North Lawrence 5-4 during high school baseball action on Monday.

Burkman’s two-out hit drove in Landon Pike with the game-winning run as Jennings (11-11) edged the Stars for the second time this season, both by one run in a week’s span. The Panthers also posted a 4-3 home win over BNL in the first round of the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament.

“It seems like the last several years there have been a lot of one-run games, and we’ve come out on the wrong end,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “We did some good things, had some chances, but we didn’t get it done.”

BNL (13-9) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Ryker Hughes’ solo blast to center. Jennings answered with a two-out RBI double by Zane Weinhorst and a BNL error for a 2-1 advantage. The Stars responded with two runs in the third as Cal Gates doubled, Kline Woodward lined a RBI double to center, and Hughes cracked a liner to left for a sacrifice fly.

Jennings broke through in the sixth on Cooper Lane’s two-run single. The Stars pulled even in the seventh when Gates lined a two-out single and scored on a Hughes single and JC outfield error. That set the stage for the Jennings heroics on the eighth.

BNL had 10 hits (two each from Cal Gates, Hughes, Woodward and Cam Gates). Weinhorst had three hits for the Panthers. Hughes suffered the loss in relief as the Stars dropped their third straight.

“We have to use this week to get better, work toward the big goal of the sectional,” Callahan said. “We have to do the little things to win close games, whether it’s getting bunts down, or the two-out hit, or the routine play. We have to play solid against good teams in all phases. We played better but not good enough to win.”

BNL will Scottsburg on Tuesday, then celebrate Senior Night on Thursday against Providence.