Magic take a commanding 3-0 World Series lead after a 7-1 win in Game 3.
GRANGER- The 2018 ORWBL World Series shifted to Panther Park for Games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) with the Granger Panthers hosting their 1st ever ORWBL World Series game.
After dropping the first 2 game of the series at Magic Park, the Panthers knew that they would need to work some of their own magic to extend this series to try and get this series back to Magic Park for Games 6 and 7.
Unfortunately for Granger, the Magic lineup started things off with a couple of Home Runs to take an early lead. Due to all of the injuries the Panthers have suffered this season, Brett Shepard was forced to take the mound, with 2 time NL Gold Glove winner Seth Campbell, Tony Koch, and Austin Williams out in the field.
Shepard who has not had much playing time on the field in the first 2 years of the Panthers franchise did everything he could to keep his Panthers in it. Shep held Maple City to 7 runs and appeared to have received some pitching tips from Panthers ace Griffin Smith who remains out for the season.
Shepard was sliding all over the place and making great plays while also doing his best to keep the Panthers bench amped up. Shepard also provided the only run for Granger as he belted a solo Home Run to break up Wes Ellis's no hitter.
Ellis did a fantastic job shutting down the Panthers core of Seth Campbell, Austin Williams, and Tony Koch as the Magic defense was flawless. Caleb Jonkman made one of the better catches of the year as he leaped with his lanky arms to rob a Home Run, tearing down the left field fence in the process.
It was a pretty cool scene as Jonkman held the ball up in the air immediately after making the catch while on the ground. With Ellis and Caleb Jonkman leading the way, Shane Anderson and Drew Luther played their role as good as they could as both players continued to relish at the 4-5 spot in the Magic lineup.
Anderson continued to set the tone, reaching base numerous times and using his speed which really put pressure on the Panthers defense.
Despite Brett Shepard's best effort and a quality one to say the least, it was not enough as the Magic won Game 3 (7-1) to take a commanding 3-0 World Series lead as Maple City is now just 1 win away from becoming the 3rd team in ORWBL history to repeat as Champions (Sour Wowers, Newts).
We now head into Game 4 with the Panthers in desperation mode, and if they can pick up a Game 4 win, they could certainly put a little pressure on Maple City with the thought of having to go back to LaPorte for a Game 6 if necessary.