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GSL baseball falls one step short of state

Despite making their deepest playoff foray in three seasons, the Glencoe-Silver Lake baseball team fell one step short of qualifying for state for the first time since 2015 after falling to Maple Lake in the championship round of the 5AA bracket last week.
The Panthers’ season came to an end with a 19-7 record after a 13-3 loss to the Irish at Vollmer Field on Thursday, June 7.
Maple Lake handed GSL both of its sectional losses during the tournament, having also squeaked by the Panthers, 2-1, in the winner’s bracket final on Monday, June 4.
GSL recovered from loss No. 1 to eliminate Litchfield from sectional play with a 6-2 defeat of the Dragons in the one-loss bracket final on Tuesday, June 5.
The Panthers were clinging to a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Carsen Streich launched a three-run homer over the left field wall to all-but decide matters.
Starting pitcher Korey Johnson earned the victory in his final start of the season as GSL advanced to the title round to face the waiting Irish.
The Panthers’ task was daunting – they needed to defeat Maple Lake in back-to-back games. The Irish had just two losses on the season.
As it came to pass, Maple Lake was just too much for GSL to overcome.
The Panthers seized a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Bennett Lepel drove in Streich and Johnson on a two-out single. The GSL trio claimed the only three hits for their squad on the day.
But the Irish struck back quickly with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good. Maple Lake scored in all five innings of the abbreviated contest to claim the 10-run win and seize the 5AA title.