LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The wind was blowing out to center field on Monday evening, and there was a home run hit in each game of the night. Fly balls were getting caught up in the jet stream, and sailing into the trees, or even over the trees. Pitchers on several teams also struggled with command in the high winds, going deep into their bullpen after their first three pitchers walked out of the game.
The first doubleheader was between The Ones and Sandvipers. Only 12 outs were recorded the entire game, and both teams combined for 19 walks. Ones manager Ryan Chen hit a grand slam in the second to give his team a 4-2 lead, and they would score four more in the inning, walking Adam Tanic, Jason Walker, and Trench Picone all out of the game. In the top of the third the Sandvipers took walks as well, getting The Ones to their final pitcher before winning via the 15 run rule. Even though they were the away team, getting to 15 runs at any point ends the game.
In game two both team managers were able to adjust to the wind, pitching into the fourth inning, and allowing a combined four hits. Chen hit his second homer of the night in the third inning to put The Ones up 3-0, but the Sandvipers were able to come all the way back to tie the game after walking Chen out in the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth The Ones brought their ace Cody Schmidt into the game, but Picone hit the first pitch he saw over the center field fence to walk it off, making the Sandvipers 7-2 this season in games decided by one run.
The Tomahawks and Warbirds played a three game set to finish off their season series. The first game was a pitchers duel between Nick Sansone and Chad Phillips. Matt Petrikas started the game for the Warbirds, but he was unable to get out of the first inning, walking two of the first four batters he faced. Sansone hit a home run in the fourth inning to put the Tomahawks on the board, but Petrikas led off the fifth with a triple, and with two outs KJ Lacroix hit a single to keep the game alive. Phillips sat the Tomahawks 2-3-4 hitters, Billy Osgood, Jason Stephenson, and Jamie Chhay, down in order in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, Brian “Uncle B” Puter hit a single to put runners on the corners, and Warbirds manager Chris “Warchicken” Warfield hit a single to walk it off.
In game two of the series the wind picked up, and so did the offense. Both teams started to hit the ball, combining for 17 hits, and they both used five different pitchers as well. Not only did the wind carry fly balls, but it also baffled hitters, with both teams combining for 16 strikeouts. Lacroix and the Warchicken both hit grand slams, and Chhay hit a three run homer in the fourth inning to bring the Tomahawks within three, but the Warbirds held on to win 10-7 in a slugfest.
Game three saw more great pitching. This time Stephenson and Osgood split pitching duties for the Tomahawks, and Petrikas split the innings with Puter for the Warbirds. Both teams combined for five hits the entire game, with Brad Ogden striking first on an RBI double in the top of the third. KJ Lacroix hit a three run shot in the bottom of the inning, and Uncle B was able to close out the 3-1 win for the Warbirds, sweeping the season series against the Tomahawks.
The final series of the night was a doubleheader between the Snappers and Calicos. In the first game James Stein threw the only shutout of the night, striking out 11 Snappers hitters. Calicos manager Nick DiVella hit a two run shot in the second inning, and Stein made it back to back with another home run. That’s all they would need in the 3-0 win. DiVella hit another home run in game two, and Alex Carrasco pitched well in relief, but with two outs in the bottom of the fifth Taylor Bryner hit a two run home run to tie the game, sending it to extra innings. In the sixth Carrasco hit a three run homer to take back the lead, and he sat the Snappers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to close out the win.
The next PLW action will be tonight, Thursday, March 11th. The Stone Men play two doubleheaders against the Warbirds & Snappers starting at 4:30pm PST, followed by Bombers vs. The Ones at 7:30pm, and Sandvipers vs. Tomahawks at 9pm. Tune in LIVE on Twitch!