LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – On Sunday afternoon the Stone Men played a three game set against the Sandvipers to finish off their season series, followed by a doubleheader against the Warbirds. The Stone Men hadn’t won a game since February going into Sunday, and they’re running out of time to make a playoff run as we approach the halfway point in the season, but they still have 20 games remaining to turn things around. On the flip side the Sandvipers went into Sunday sitting atop the standings with a 15-3 record, and they’re looking to pull away to secure the top playoff seed.
In the first game of the series Levi Lawrence led off with a triple, but Tom Gannon would settle in after that, getting the next three batters out to end the inning. In the bottom of the third Adam Tanic hit a solo shot off Lawrence, and Tanic also hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to put the Sandvipers up 9-0. Gannon closed the game out with a 1-2-3 fifth, and he retired 15 Stone Men in a row after Lawrence’s leadoff triple.
In game two the Stone Men would strike first, pushing a run across on a fielder’s choice in the first inning. The Sandvipers responded with an unearned run in the top of the second, and the game was still tied going into the fourth inning, but after Casey Herzog worked a walk to chase Lawrence from the game, Joseph Carpenter came in to make his Premier League Wiffle® pitching debut. Trench Picone welcomed Carpenter to the league with a grand slam, his third of the season, but the Stone Men rookie was able to put away six of the next seven batters he faced to finish the game in the 7-3 loss.
The Stone Men were able to jump out to another early lead in the final game of the series thanks to a leadoff triple from Sesaí Sesaee, and an RBI single from Dylan Martin. Austin “Bird” Bull hit a home run in the second to make it 2-0, and in the fourth, Carpenter, Bird, and Sesaee each hit singles to take a 3-0 lead. Tanic hit a triple with two runners on in the bottom of the inning, and Gannon followed that up with a single to tie the game at 3-3 going into the final inning. Trench Picone sat the Stone Men down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, and in the bottom of the inning the Sandvipers pushed the winning run across with two singles, and two fielder’s choices.
The Warbirds gave Matt Petrikas the ball, and the Stone Men turned to Dylan Martin in the first game of their doubleheader. Both pitchers struck out the side in the first inning, and Martin struck out the side in the top of the second as well. Carpenter reached on an error to lead off the second inning for the Stone Men, and Lawrence hit a double to drive in the first run of the game. Petrikas led the fifth inning off with a double, and scored on a triple off the bat of KJ Lacroix. Chad Phillips had a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth to send the game to extras, and Lacroix came in clutch yet again with a double to score the runner placed on second base to start the inning. Jimmy Talamantez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 2-2 going into the seventh and final inning. Martin had a 1-2-3 seventh to secure the complete game, and at worst a tie because regular season games are capped at seven innings. In the bottom of the last inning Bird hit a walk-off two run homer to give the Stone Men a 4-2 win.
The Warbirds jumped out to an early lead in game two, and it was Lacroix driving in the runs yet again, with a bases clearing double to make it 4-0 after the first inning. The Stone Men got four straight hits off Warbirds ace Chad Phillips to start the third, capped off by a two run double from Bird to cut the lead to 4-3 with the tying run in scoring position, and no outs. Phillips was able to lock it down after that, and the Warbirds held on for the 4-3 win.
The next Premier League Wiffle® action is scheduled for tonight, Monday, March 15th at 5:30pm PDT. The Warbirds play a three game series against the Calicos followed by a doubleheader between the Snappers and Bombers at 8pm. Tune in LIVE on Twitch!