LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The wind was blowing straight out to center field at The Hideaway on Thursday night, and the balls were flying out yet again. Twenty different players hit the ball out, and five of them had multiple home runs. Ryan Chen led the night, going 8-10 with four homers, and he had an OPS of 2.933 on the night. Brandon Maio was the only pitcher that got through a complete inning with an ERA below two on the night, so it was definitely a good night to be a hitter.
The first doubleheader was between the Stone Men and Bombers. The first game was shortened by the mercy rule, but Brandon Maio threw a three inning perfect game, striking out eight of the nine batters he faced, and he hit the walk-off home run to clinch the mercy with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Jim Dodos and CJ Peterson also hit home runs, and manager TJ Brown went deep twice. Game two was more of the same, but this time the Bombers would invoke the 15-run rule. Only Hollis “Hollywood” Hale would hit a home run, but he had a hat trick with three bombs, including a walk-off homer in the top of the third because the game ends when a team scores their 15th run. “I think the ball that landed in the dome really got me going there. I might go find that one.” remarked Hollywood after the game.
The Ones faced off against the Warbirds in the second series of the night, and yet again both games were shortened due to the mercy rule. The Warbirds had superstar Randy Dalbey in attendance to make his PLW debut, but the 6’5” right hander had to get acquainted with the new pitching style. “The big adjustment is the 55mph. Just naturally my mechanics are [designed] to throw as hard as I can.” said Dalbey. “Location is [also] a big one. Getting people to chase is a little bit harder throwing slower.” Dalbey would allow seven runs in 1⅔ innings, including a pair of home runs, and went 0-3 at the plate with a walk. The Ones put up eight runs in the second inning, and had a nine run lead going into the fourth, but the Warbirds would rally to keep the game alive, scoring four runs in the top of the inning powered by an Arthur West home run. West also made his PLW debut on Thursday. In the bottom of the inning The Ones put up five more runs to answer back, taking the 14-4 win in game one. In game two it would only take three innings for The Ones to get the mercy win, thanks to multi-homer games from Scottez Dobbins and Ryan Chen. Cody Schmidt and Adrian Gutierrez also hit home runs, and at one point The Ones hit three homers in a row.
The Tomahawks played the Calicos in the third series of the night, and both games in this series would go the full five innings. In game one Billy Osgood and Brad Ogden both walked out of the game after just two batters, leaving Nick Sansone to throw a complete game in relief. Sansone got out of the inning with just two runs on the board, and the Tomahawks were able to answer with two of their own in the top of the second, taking a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the fourth the Calicos retook the lead thanks to RBI doubles from Matty Levine and manager Nick DiVella, but a 4-3 lead isn’t safe against an offense like the Tomahawks. They put up four runs in the top of the fifth, and went on to win 7-4. In game two the Calicos bounced back, and Alex Carrasco threw a complete game, holding the Tomahawks to just two runs. Both were scored on solo home runs from Ogden and Casey Taravella. The game was tied going into the final inning, but this time it was the Calicos that erupted, scoring six runs, and they went on to win game two 8-2 to split the series.
The final series of the night was between the Snappers and Sandvipers. Taylor Bryner and Jesse Capps each hit home runs for the Snappers, and Casey Herzog and Trench Picone each hit home runs for the Sandvipers. Picone’s was a grand slam, his fourth of the season. On the other side of the ball, Adam Tanic, Tom Gannon, Picone, Bryner and Peter Mavro all walked out of the game. The Sandvipers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Snappers answered with three runs of their own. They would eventually tie the game at 7-7 with a three run top of the fifth, and the game would go to extras, but Jason Walker was able to hold the Snappers scoreless in the extra frame, then Tanic hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the inning. In game two the Snappers would strike first, pushing a run across in the first inning, but Gannon would answer in the second with a two-run homer. The Snappers would tie the game in the fourth thanks to an RBI single from Capps, and game two would go to extras tied at two. In the lone extra inning the Sandvipers would score the runner placed on second, but Michael Agwara hit a double in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, and Bryner followed that up with a walk-off single to clinch the 4-3 win, and the second series split with the top team in the league.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
The Player of the Week for week seven is the Bombers’ Hollis Hale. Hale hit a dozen home runs during week seven, capped off by a hat trick and a mercy rule walk-off to end the week. With a .426 batting average, 20 hits, 29 runs batted in, and a 1.255 slugging percentage, this week’s award was an easy decision. Tune in LIVE on Twitch on Thursday at 5:15pm PDT to see more PLW action!