LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The second week of the Premier League Wiffle® spring season was kicked off with a full slate of games on Monday night. Just one of the four doubleheaders ended in a split, and while it’s still very early, the veteran teams in the league appear to be a cut above the rest at this point in the season. The teams in the bottom half of the standings have shown enormous potential, so don’t be surprised to see the standings flip as the season progresses.
The first series of the night was between the Warbirds and Stone Men. The Stone Men were short handed, but they were able to acquire undrafted free agent Alan Sharples before the game. Manager and ace Levi Lawrence was unable to record an out before walking two Warbirds batters, and with their number two pitcher Dylan Martin out, the wheels fell off for the Stone Men bullpen quickly. The Warbirds offense was able to push ten runs across in just two innings thanks to doubles from Matt Petrikas, Brian “Uncle B” Puter, and manager Chris “Warchicken” Warfield, winning the shortened game via mercy rule.
Game two was a different story. Lawrence was dealing, and he had a perfect game through the first three innings. The addition of Sharples also paid dividends, as he hit a three run double to give the Stone Men the lead in the first inning. They would tack on four more to go up 7-0, but in the fourth inning Lawrence walked his second batter, and the Warbirds rattled off seven runs against the Stone Men bullpen to tie the game. In the bottom of the fifth inning Uncle B hit a walk-off double to complete the comeback, and the Warbirds swept the Stone Men in dramatic fashion with an 8-7 win.
The Ones faced off against the Bombers in the second doubleheader of the night. The Ones jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but no lead is safe against this year’s Bombers squad. The Bombers would take a 5-4 lead at the end of three innings, but the Ones scored two in the fourth to retake the lead. In the bottom of the inning the Bombers exploded for six runs, capped off by a two run home run from Michael Dean, and they went on to win 11-7 in a back and forth battle.
In game two the Bombers gave the ball to their ace, Brandon Maio. Maio brought his best stuff, and he had a perfect game through four innings against a strong Ones lineup. Dean hit his second home run of the night to lead off the second inning, and Maio would make it back to back with his first homer of the season. Adam Koutz hit a single to lead off the fifth inning, breaking up Maio’s perfect game bid, but he retired the next three batters to give the Bombers a 9-0 win.
In the third series of the night the Tomahawks went up against the defending champions, the Sandvipers. The Sandvipers struck first in game one, scoring three runs in the second, but the Tomahawks answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Nick Sansone hit a two run home run to give the Tomahawks a 4-3 lead, and after the Sandvipers tied the game at 4-4 Sansone hit a RBI double to retake the lead. The Tomahawks would hold on to win 5-4, handing the Sandvipers their second loss of the season.
The Tomahawks drew first blood in game two. Manager Jason Stephenson hit a double to lead off the second inning, and two batters later Jamie Chhay hit a single to drive him in. Tom “Dr. Winkly” Gannon answered with a solo home run off Stephenson in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Gannon scored the only other run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Sandvipers manager Adam Tanic helped out his own cause by knocking him in with a double. Tanic pitched a complete game, and he is the fourth Sandvipers pitcher to do so this season.
The final doubleheader of the night was between the Snappers and Calicos. In the first game Alex Carrasco, Barry Hutter, and Matty Levine combined to shut out the Snappers, and a single from Shane Weber was the lone hit for the Snappers lineup. Calicos manager Nick DiVella hit a grand slam in the second inning to put his team up 8-0, and he was a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-4 with a single, a double, and a home run.
In the final game of the night Carrasco pitched a complete game, allowing just a single run while scattering seven Snappers hits, and striking out ten batters along the way. Snappers rookie Jonathan Wilson was a bright spot in the lineup, as he went 2-3 with a single, a double, and a walk. The Calicos lineup was able to push three runs across against the Snappers pitching tandem of Manny Santillanes Jr. and Shane Weber, but only one of those runs was earned, and the Calicos would go on to win 3-1.
The next Premier League Wiffle® action will be on Thursday, February 18th. The Bombers and Calicos will play a doubleheader, followed by a three game series between the Snappers and the Ones. Tune in LIVE on YouTube!