warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Panther baseball roars into state tourney

For the first time since 2015, the Glencoe-Silver Lake baseball team earned a trip to the state tournament after roaring through the Section 5AA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
“It was a very special moment,” coach Dean Schwirtz said. “Some people doubted us, but we believed.”
The Panthers dismantled second-seeded Holy Family 12-2 in the championship game on Thursday, June 6, as starting pitcher Korey Johnson earned the complete-game victory in five innings.
“I was not planning on starting him,” Schwirtz said of the senior hurler. “But he wanted to start and wasn’t going to say ‘no’ for an answer.”
Johnson again proved to be a worthy choice on the hill. He claimed his third victory of the four GSL sectional wins, snapping off his curveball to the tune of six strikeouts.
Holy Family managed eight hits and one walk off the Panther ace, but GSL held those baserunners at bay until the fifth and final inning.
By that point, the game had long been decided by the relentless Panther offense that scored at least two runs in each of their four turns at the plate.
Dane Schwirtz got the offense started off right by stroking a leadoff single in the bottom of the first. Both he and Gabe Roepke were driven home on a two-out single by Chandler Glaeser before Glaeser was also plated on an RBI double by Ty Christensen to give GSL all the runs it needed in the contest.
But the hosts were far from finished. The Panthers scored two more runs in the second inning and three in the third to take an 8-0 edge before delivering the knockout punch via a four-run fourth.
When the dust had settled, GSL had scored 12 runs on 12 hits, without the strength of the home run that the Panthers have so often made a part of their gameplan.
Schwirtz went 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk, four runs scored and one driven in while Bennett Lepel went 2-for-4 with three RBI to help pace the GSL offensive juggernaut.
Every Panther starter had at least one hit, with seven players driving in at least one run and nine GSL’ers scoring in all.
“All season long, there have been a number of different guys stepping up, and no one cares who the credit goes to,” coach Schwirtz said. “To them, it is all about the team.”
Owners of a 19-5 record and winners of 11 straight games, the Panthers will face the toughest test of the season in their state opener.
GSL drew No. 1 seed Duluth Marshall to begin the Class AA bracket. The Hilltoppers boast a 23-1 record, haven’t lost since April 20, and feature fireballer Ben Pedersen, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles last week.
“We know what we’re going up against, but I think we have a chance,” Schwirtz said. “These guys will play anyone in front of them, and will play them tough. We’ve got a great team.”