NEW CARLISLE - Practice didn't make perfect for the New Carlisle Newts on Sunday afternoon. After taking batting practice with the wind gently blowing out, it appeared the Newts were in for a vintage Migley Field slugfest.
However just before first pitch, the wind picked up and shifted to create miserable offensive conditions again. The Granger Panthers were able to adjust, as they took two of three from the Newts, 2-0, 2-1 (F/11), and 6-2.
In the opener, Granger set the tone early with aggressive base-running when lead-off man Griffin Smith got aboard in the top of the first. He later scored from second on a sacrifice fly to right center, as both Newts peg attempts were unsuccessful.
Granger tacked on an insurance run in the fifth after a misplayed fly ball extended the inning.
New Carlisle finally got on the scoreboard in game two. Trailing 1-0, Scott Soos tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
The game remained tied until the 11th inning, as both teams squandered scoring opportunities. Garrett Curless ended it with a walk-off home run down the right field line to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season.
There was a controversial moment in the top of the ninth when the Panthers thought they had taken lead when Andrew Doran hit a fly ball with home run distance down the left field line. It was ultimately determined that the ball hooked around the left hand side of the pole, and Doran flew out two pitches later.
In the finale, the Newts jumped on top early with a Jay Ryans home run. However, the Panthers answered immediately in the top of the second.
Granger took the lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, and in the fifth the Panthers blew it wide open with a pair of two-run home runs.
New Carlisle falls to 6-3 on the season, two games behind the Olive Township Mechanics in the National League East. The Mechanics come to Migley Field next Saturday night for a primetime match-up under the lights. First pitch is set for 9:05pm ET.