NEW CARLISLE - The New Carlisle Newts are one win away from their fifth consecutive trip to the ORWBL World Series after taking Games 1 and 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Granger Panthers, 11-10 and 7-2.
The Panthers, who had the best record in ORWBL during the regular season, jumped out to a 9-0 lead after three and a half innings of play.
Despite the wind blowing out, Griffin Smith was perfect on the mound for Granger into the fourth. However, Matt Soos and Garrett Curless went back-to-back to start a barrage of Newts home runs. New Carlisle scored seven in the frame to cut the deficit to two.
Austin Williams got one back for Granger in the fifth, but Curless answered with a two-run homer in the bottom half to cut it to one.
After the Newts tied the game in the sixth, Soos again played the hero with a walk-off single to score Jay Ryans from third.
The Newts took command of Game 2 early behind another stellar outing from Ryans on the mound, coasting to a 7-2 win. Ryans picked up the wins in both games, but will be unavailable when the series shifts to Granger over the weekend.
New Carlisle will make its first trip to Panther Park on Saturday, needing just one win to close out the best of five series. Game 3 is slated to begin at Noon ET.