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Panthers remain in contention for section title and state berth

Heading into the final week of the Section 5AA Tournament, the Glencoe-Silver Lake baseball team remained in contention for a return to state. However, after a gripping 2-1 loss to top-seeded Maple Lake on Monday, June 4, it will take a more than a little bit of work for the third-seeded Panthers.
GSL narrowly fell to the Irish in the winner’s bracket final after a tightly contested game won by Maple Lake by the slimmest of margins at Vollmer Field.
The Irish, playing as the home team via their status as the No. 1 seed, took a 1-0 lead on a two-out double in the bottom of the second inning.
However, the Panthers immediately roared back to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the third. Dane Schwirtz walked, stole second and was driven in on an RBI double by Carsen Streich to knot the score.
Maple Lake was just as quick to regain the edge for good. After a one-out double in the bottom of the third, a throwing error allowed the Irish to bring in what became the game-deciding tally that made the score 2-1.
GSL had a runner in scoring position in both the top of the fifth and seventh innings, but could do no better before eventually falling.
Both pitchers shined on the sunny evening, with Panther starter Chandler Glaeser tossing a complete-game five-hitter, allowing just one earned run while striking out one, in defeat.
The setback dropped GSL into the one-loss bracket and into a rematch with seventh-seeded Litchfield, played on Tuesday, June 5, after the Chronicle went to press.
The Panthers dropped the Dragons into the one-loss bracket with a come-from-behind 4-2 win on Thursday, May 31.
Seventh-seeded Litchfield scored lone tallies in the third and fifth innings off of GSL starter Korey Johnson. However, Bennett Lepel drove in Spencer Lepel and Gabe Roepke with a two-run single in the sixth as the Panthers rallied with four runs in the frame to claim the victory.
Streich initially got his team on the board by singling and eventually scoring on a single by Roepke. Tyler Siewert bunted to bring home Glaeser with GSL’s final run of the contest.
Johnson went the distance on the mound, striking out four while allowing five hits, one walk, and one earned run.
In the Panthers’ second-round game, Glaeser fired a complete-game two-hitter at Blake in an 8-0 victory over the sixth-seeded Bears. He struck out five while walking three.
Eight differed GSL players scored in the lopsided win, including Carsen Streich – who also went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Taylor Schauer went 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
If GSL, which was 2-1 against Litchfield heading into Tuesday’s game, was able to defeat the Dragons in the one-loss bracket final, then the Panthers will play Maple Lake once – possibly twice – again for the section title.
GSL will need two wins over the Irish on Thursday, June 7, to advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
Game One is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Vollmer Field. A win over Maple Lake would force a second game to be played immediately after with that winner earning the state berth.