LAS VEGAS NEVADA – Whether you prefer pitcher’s duels, slugfests, or something in between, there was a doubleheader catered to every type of Wiffle® fan on Monday night, as the remainder of the league kicked off the spring season. Each team was looking to start off the season on a positive note, and each team had something positive to take away from a night full of good matchups.
The first series of the night was between the Calicos and the Stone Men. Manager Levi Lawrence was the starting pitcher for the Stone Men, and James Stein, the fourth overall pick in the draft, made his debut on the rubber for the Calicos. Both pitchers traded zeros for the first four innings, and Matty Levine got the lone hit for the Calicos offense, a single in the second inning. In the top of the fifth, Jimmy Talamantez, the preseason home run leader, hit a home run off Stein to give the Stone Men a 1-0 lead, and in the bottom of the inning Lawrence closed the game out to give his team the win.
Both pitchers picked up right where they left off in game two. Stein and Lawrence went at it in another heated pitcher’s duel, and yet again the game was scoreless going into the final inning. This time it was Stein providing the late inning heroics, as he hit an opposite field home run off Lawrence to help out his cause, and give the Calicos a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Austin “Bird” Bell came up to bat with two outs, and he hit a double to put the tying run in scoring position. With a chance to tie the game, Lawrence hit an opposite field single, but Calicos third baseman Matty Levine was able to get a finger tip on the ball before it reached the outfield, holding the runner at third base, and the Calicos were able to hold on to win 1-0.
After a series in which just two runs were scored, and there were only a handful of hits, the Tomahawks and One’s went head to head in an absolute slugfest. Adam Koutz set the tone with a leadoff home run to start the game, and Ones manager Ryan Chen hit a three run home run to cap off an eight run first inning. The Tomahawks answered with six runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, including a home run from Tomahawks captain Jason Stephenson. In the second inning both lineups cooled off, and they were held scoreless, but Chen hit another home run in the top of the third inning, giving the ones a 10-6 lead. The wheels fell off for the One’s pitching in the third inning, and the Tomahawks scored nine runs to end the game via mercy rule. In Premier League Wiffle®, when a team scores their 15th run of the game, the game automatically ends, even if it is scored by the away team. This was the first time that rule has ever gone into effect.
In game two of the series both teams showed improvement in the pitching department, holding their opponents to single digits. Adam Koutz hit his second home run of the night, a two run shot in the second inning, but the Tomahawks offense proved to be too much, and they swept the series with a 6-4 win. Billy Osgood pitched a complete game for the Tomahawks, and he may be at the top of their rotation going forward.
The Bombers and Snappers squared off in the final doubleheader of the night. In game one the Bombers offense exploded for six runs in the first inning, and Brandon Maio shut down the Snappers offense for the first four innings. The Bombers would tack on another run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-0 lead, but in the top of the fifth, Manny Santillanes, the first overall pick in the draft, hit a three run home run to put the Snappers on the board. Maio would then close the game out for a complete game win, but the Snappers would avoid being shut out.
The Snappers were able to carry that momentum from the final inning into game two. CJ Peterson hit a double in the first inning to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead, but Snappers ace Shane Weber was able to hold them scoreless for the next three innings thanks to multiple highlight reel catches in the outfield by rookie Taylor Bryner. Weber also hit a home run to lead off the 4th inning, and the Snappers would score two more to take a 4-2 lead going into the final inning. Bombers’ first round pick Hollis Hale hit an opposite field home run to cut the lead to just one, but Weber was able to close it out for the complete game win.
Premier League Wiffle® will be back in action for games on Thursday, February 11th. Tune in LIVE on YouTube at 5pm! PLW YouTube Channel