In a competitive, back-and-forth battle between Seymour and Bedford North Lawrence on Monday night at American Legion Field, it looked as if the Owls would be walking it off in extra innings.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the eighth, Seymour only trailed by one run. But Bedford was able to come up with two strikeouts, and then Skyler Cockerham hit a fly ball to right field that was caught, and the Stars were able to prevail 8-7.
The Owls led 7-6 in the top of the seventh with a chance to close out the game, but then a passed ball allowed the Stars to even it up and send it to extras.
What looked like a foul ball by Bedford in the top of the eighth wound up being caught by the wind and fell fair to score BNL’s one run in the eighth, which ended up being the game winner.
“We did a nice job to get in the lead there, but we had a bad hop off the plate that hurt us there,” Seymour head coach Jeremy Richey said. “We come back in the eighth and get the bases loaded with our 2, 3 and 4 guys up, we’re going to take that chance every time. Tonight, we just didn’t get it done. Proud of the way we fought. Not proud of the body language and the way we handled adversity, but we’re going to get better at that.”
Bedford jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and then the Owls answered with two runs to tie the ballgame.
Charlie Longmeier grounded out to score Bret Perry for Seymour’s first run, and then Vince Wilson singled to right field to score Jack VonDielingen.
In the second inning, BNL got a runner to third base with two outs, and a ground ball was hit to shortstop and VonDielingen made a big throw to Aiden Darlage at first base to get the out and end the inning without giving up the run.
After that big defensive play, Seymour added one run in the bottom of the inning. Gavin Leavy led off with a double, moved to third after a bunt from Braden Richey and then scored off an infield hit from Perry, who beat the throw to first base due to an error.
The Stars teetered back into the lead in the third, scoring two runs and loading the bases with one out. Then the Owls turned an impressive double play as VonDielingen flipped it to Richey at second, who rocketed a throw to Darlage at first to end the inning.
Seymour got another double play in the fourth to end the inning. It was line drive to VonDielingen, who caught it and threw to Richey before tht BNL runner could get back to second base.
“That’s what this group does,” Richey said. “They’re good baseball players, and they’ve been in a lot of these situations before. Proud of the way that we fought.”
The Owls struck back in the bottom of the fourth. After Darlage got hit by a pitch, he was moved to second base via a bunt from Richey, and then with two outs, Perry singled up the middle to score Darlage and tie the game at 4.
Bedford then scored two runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead, and the Owls once again responded.
Treyton McCormick rocketed a two-run double to left field to score Cockerham and Wilson to tie the game at 6, and then Darlage hit a sacrifice fly to score McCormick.
“Treyton had a huge double to score a couple runs, and we’ve done that all year,” Richey said on his team’s timely hitting.
Darlage’s sac fly looked to be the game-winner before BNL was able to squeak out one run each in the seventh and eighth innings.
With the Owls’ stellar double plays and some incredible catches by Longmeier in center field, there were still too many defensive errors to Richey’s liking.
“We’ve just got to keep throwing strikes,” he said. “We made some errors there, and that hurts us. We need to do a better job of cleaning that up.”
The loss drops Seymour to 9-2 on the season and 3-2 in the HHC.
Coming up for the Owls will be Madison at home today and then at Jennings County on Friday.
“We’ve got to come back and get things turned around because this is a tough week,” Richey said. “To lose a tough one tonight, it can lead to a bad week for us, so we have to be ready to go on Tuesday.”