GRANGER - For the first time since 2012, the New Carlisle Newts won't be playing in the ORWBL World Series. The Newts put up a fight against the top-seeded Granger Panthers, but ultimately fell in a three-game National League Division Series, 6-7, 6-1, 11-9.
Thanks to a fourth place finish in the National League, New Carlisle was forced into the Wild Card round, a one-game playoff against the Lynn Street Leprechauns. After losing two of three to the Leprechauns to close out the regular season last week, New Carlisle came out firing on all cylinders. The Newts exploded for a 26-6 win, by far their largest offensive output of the season.
In the NLDS against the host Panthers, things started off well for the Newts in Game 1. New Carlisle jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, and held off a couple Granger rallies throughout the game. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers capitalized on a couple fielding miscues to score four runs with two outs to take a 7-6 lead.
With the season on the line, the Newts rebounded in the second game, winning 6-1 to set up a decisive Game 3.
In the rubber match, the teams traded runs in the first, and Granger grabbed a 3-2 lead after two innings. In the fourth, Austin Williams gave the Panthers some breathing room with a three-run homer, and it was 7-2 heading to the fifth.
Granger poured on more runs in the bottom of the fifth, taking an 11-3 lead to the sixth. New Carlisle made a game of it, storming back to cut the deficit to just two, but the Newts ran out of gas and the comeback fell short.
It's an early exit for New Carlisle, who had played in five consecutive World Series (winning three of them). The Newts front office will undoubtedly need to regroup to find more consistency in their lineup for 2019.
For now, the franchise's focus will be on the final two major tournaments of the year, the World Wiffleball Championship in Midlothian, Illinois next week and of course, The Wiffleball Championship in New Carlisle at the end of July.