By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Runners equal opportunities. Bloomington South made the most of its scoring chances, Bedford North Lawrence is still searching for the magic formula when the bases are bursting with potential.
The Panthers, accustomed to playing from behind, surged in front as the Stars gave away runs and extra outs with miscues, and BNL stranded more people than a shipwreck as South powered to a 9-3 win on Monday afternoon.
South (4-1) cranked out 13 hits, scoring multiple runs in four different innings. The Stars, outside of Cole Karr’s booming home run to left-center in the sixth, squandered their circumstances while leaving 11 runners on. In fact, that number has been double digits in three of the last four games.
“That’s something, looking back to last year, we were able to get those hits and drive in runs,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “So far we haven’t done that, haven’t had that luxury. That’s just the way baseball goes.”
South scored 3 in the second (with two coming home on an outfield error), twice in the third (Jayden Blackwell’s RBI double and another miscue) and two more in the fourth (Mason David’s two-run single).
“We were able to string runs together to keep it out of their reach,” South coach Phil Kluesner said. “I’m very pleased with that. Too much in the past, we’ve put guys on and left them there. But so far this season we’ve done a good job of getting them in.
“It’s a different mentality for us. The big thing is we don’t get down if there is adversity. They move through things. That’s the biggest thing to get your team to do.”
BNL scored a run in the second as Garrett Watson singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scampered home on Whitt Callahan’s misplayed liner to left. The Stars didn’t break through again until Karr clobbered the first pitch he saw in the sixth.
“In his earlier at-bats, he wasn’t aggressive at the plate,” Callahan said. “We just told him to be ready, and if it’s your pitch go after it. That was a well-struck ball that got us a little life.”
South added two more in the seventh on Wil Stockman’s double to center.
Stockman was 3-for-4 while Blackwell, David, Zach Bellini and Sean Azcui all had two hits for the Panthers. Brayden DeMeir worked five innings, striking out 7 while surrendering only 3 hits, to earn the win.
Watson and Dalton Nikirk (who made three excellent defensive plays in the sixth) had two hits each for the Stars. BNL fell to 3-6.
“We’re getting behind hitters, having to give in, and we didn’t field well (with three errors),” Callahan said. “We have to get better, across the board as players and coaches. We have to get off the field on time, not giving extra bases and extra outs. If you continue to do that, it makes it tough against good teams.”
BNL will host North Harrison on Friday.