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Panthers squeak by Warriors, win 3-2

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STEM Granville Central held off the hard-charging Louisburg Warriors on April 11, winning 3-2. The Panthers worked out of a tough situation late in the game to claim the victory.

Granville Central took an early lead and looked to break the game open in the second inning. James Marshburn reached on an error by the Louisburg shortstop and moved around on a groundout by JJ Tilley. Caleb Underwood singled to push Marshburn home to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Brady Smith reached first on another error by the Louisburg shortstop, which moved Underwood to third. Austin Falls drew a walk to load the bases, but Granville Central ended up leaving three runners stranded on base.

The Panthers were able to tack on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Hunter Tressler singled to start the inning for the Panthers. Joe Delossantos never flinched when he was hit by a pitch. The play moved Tressler into scoring position at second base. Tilley singled to drive in Tressler to extend the Granville Central lead to 2-0. Underwood singled to send Delossantos home for a 3-0 lead.

The Panthers looked solid on the mound with Colton Powell throwing strikes until the seventh inning. The strike zone became a little tighter and Powell could not get the corner calls like he was earlier in the contest.

After three consecutive walks and two runs scored, Powell was visibly disappointed he could not finish the game, but encouraged his teammate Wyatt Laws to finish the game for him.

Laws and the Panthers worked through the first three batters and set them down in order. Louisburg left the tying run on second and the winning potential run on first.

Granville Central moved to 11-5 overall and 7-5 in conference play with the win.

“This is such a resilient team,” said Granville Central coach Barry Moore. “After the loss at Louisburg, we came back to practice just like nothing ever happened.”

Tilley, a junior for the Panthers, added, “We learned a lot from the last two games. We know we have to compete and finish.”

The Panthers have a non-conference game at Carrboro scheduled for Wednesday and will return home to face the DSA Bulldogs on Thursday.

Statistics Caleb Underwood (2-for-3, RBI), JJ Tilley (2-for-3, RBI) and Hunter Tressler (1-for-4).