LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The Premier League Wiffle® playoffs began with a wild card matchup between the Bombers and the Heat. Jamie Chhay hit a three run home run in the top of the first inning, but the Bombers would answer back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. For the next three innings both teams would be held scoreless, but in the top of the fifth inning, Jason Stephenson hit a home run to give the Heat a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning Kyle Ingerson walked his second batter, and was removed from the game, but Chhay came in to get the final two outs, sending the Heat to the semifinals where they would face the Sandvipers.
In game two the Sandvipers got out to an early lead, scoring one run in each of the first two innings, and they wouldn’t look back, as Adam Tanic threw a complete game one-hitter. That one hit, a single from Jamie Chhay, was the only baserunner the Heat would have all game.
In the other semifinal matchup the Warbirds faced off against the Calicos. Alex Carrasco pitched for the Calicos with a broken foot, and was able to come off the mound to make plays defensively despite wearing a protective boot on his left leg. Carrasco pitched a great game, holding the Warbirds to just two runs in regulation, but unfortunately he was matched up against Chad Phillips pitching for the Warbirds. Phillips pitched nine innings without allowing a walk or an earned run, but the Calicos offense was able to tack on two unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning to send the game to extras.
In extra innings Carrasco and Phillips traded zeros even with a runner placed on second base to start the inning. In the top of the ninth Joe Kuther hit a single off Phillips to score the runner from second, but in the bottom of the inning Brian Puter hit a double with runners on the corners to walk it off for the Warbirds, sending them to the championship series.
Game one of the championship series saw the matchup that everyone wanted to see. Adam Tanic vs. Chad Phillips, the two top pitchers in Premier League Wiffle®, going head to head. The highly anticipated matchup did not disappoint, as both pitchers didn’t walk a single batter, and the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth Casey Herzog hit a single to drive in the game’s only run, and the Sandvipers defeated the Warbirds 1-0 to take the lead in the series.
In game two of the series Matt Petrikas walked the first two batters he faced, and was relieved by Chad Phillips. Phillips was able to get the Warbirds out of the inning unscathed, but in the second inning the Sandvipers exploded for 14 runs, and would win 14-3 in just two innings due to the mercy rule. Phillips pitched 14+ innings on the day, and when asked after the game said, “I had nothing left that last game.” he left it all on the field.
Next up for PLW is the All-Star game, home run derby, and draft on Saturday, January 23rd.