NEW CARLISLE - The buzz was back in Migleyville on Sunday afternoon, as wiffleball returned to the Friendly Confines for the first time in 2021. Unfortunately for capacity crowd, the good times didn't extend to the play on the field, as the New Carlisle Newts (6-6) were swept by the Granger Panthers, 11-6, 9-2, 10-4.
Aidan Cotter worked a perfect first inning in the opener and received early run support via solo home runs by Garrett Curless and Noah Shail. But the Newts would spend the rest of the afternoon playing from behind.
Granger (11-1) answered in the top of the second with a two-run blast by Tyler Seroczynski to tie it up. The Panthers took the lead in the third with back-to-back-to-back home runs from Seth Campbell, Austin Williams, and Daivyn Davis. Alex Zarazee would tack on another in the inning to make it 6-2.
Zarek Finley and Curless homered in the third and fourth innings, respectively, to cut the deficit to two. Campbell and Williams responded with consecutive homers in the fifth to pad the lead at 8-4.
The Newts chipped away again in the bottom of the fifth as Garrett Ruiz singled ahead of Scott Soos, who followed with a two-run bomb.
Leading 8-6 in the sixth, the Panthers added plenty of insurance with a two-run longball by Zarazee and a solo shot by Campbell.
In the second game, New Carlisle scored in the first inning only to have their early advantage erased again. After Soos smoked one over the left field fence in the bottom of the first, Williams led off the top of the second with a solo shot to tie it. Griffin Smith and Zarazee would go back-to-back later in the inning and the Panthers led, 3-1.
The Newts went scoreless over the next three innings, while Matt Soos held the Panthers to only a solo homer by Smith over that timeframe.
Curless tried to make it interesting, sending a towering fly ball to center field in the bottom of the fifth that cut the Granger lead down to 4-2.
The Panthers answered with even more this time. Campbell and Williams got it going with a pair of home runs. Then the Newts defense broke down, allowing a single to Davis and an RBI double to Seroczynski. Zarazee would clean up the bases with a home run to give the Panthers an insurmountable 9-2 lead.
New Carlisle's hopes to salvage one were dashed immediately in the finale. Granger put up five runs off Cotter in the first and led 8-2 by the end of three innings.
Finley blasted two home runs, while Cotter hit another. The two accounted for all four of the Newts runs in the game.
Koby Keck pitched 3.1 innings of relief for Cotter, allowing just two runs -- one via a home run, the other a dropped fly ball.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Newts. New Carlisle is back home next Sunday, June 6 to face the Maple City Magic (11-1). Games start at 1:20 pm ET. First 40 fans to the ballpark will receive a Garrett Curless Topps Card.