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Devils deck Stars for HHC title

BNL coach Jeff Callahan and the Stars came up short in the championship game of the HHC Tournament on Friday night.

JEFFERSONVILLE – Bedford North Lawrence ‘s quest for the elusive Hoosier Hills Conference championship ended with a bloody mouth and a merciless conclusion.

Jeffersonville thumped the Stars 11-1 in six innings on Friday night in the final game of the tournament that BNL has never won. Blayden McMahel’s 3-run home run finished the mercy-rule decision as the Red Devils (16-5) won their fourth consecutive league title.

The Stars (12-10) aided their own demise with 5 errors and 9 walks, a fatal blow for a team playing its third straight road game in the tournament.

“That was big tonight,” BNL coach Jeff Callahan said. “There was a lot of free bases, extra outs, and when you do that against a good team, it’s tough to win.

“It seemed like a boxing match, and they punched us in the mouth. We got back on our heels and never recovered.”

Jeffersonville scored 3 runs in the first off BNL starter Ethan Baer, thanks to two errors and Devyn Rivers’ RBI single. The Stars briefly countered with a run in the second as Garrett Watson cracked a two-out double and scored on Whitt Callahan’s single.

But the BNL lapses continued. An error, stolen base and two wild pitches produced another Jeff run in the second, and the Devils made it 5-1 in the third with Markez Jordan’s single, a sacrifice, and Conner Farnsley’s infield RBI single.

The Devils pulled away to an 8-1 advantage in the fourth as Ben Harberson smacked a RBI single and Farnsley added a run-scoring hit.

McMahel provided the knockout blow in the sixth.

BNL could not answer Jeffersonville’s early surge.

“That’s tough,” Callahan said. “We got behind against Seymour and New Albany (in the first two rounds of the tournament) and you’re hoping to get a clean inning and get back in the dugout, but it snowballed. The errors, walks, wild pitches all added up. They were definitely the more aggressive and assertive team.”

Gavin Seebold earned the win on the mound, scattering 4 hits. McMahel finished 3-for-4. Baer suffered the loss while allowing only one earned run in three innings.

The Stars will visit North Daviess for their final road game of the regular season on Monday.