LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Three teams made their Premier League Wiffle® debut during preseason play on Monday night. The Ones, Tomahawks, and Stone Men are all new franchises in PLW this season, but the Tomahawks are captained by Jason Stephenson, who was ranked by his peers as the third best player in the league this past winter.
To kick off the night the rookie Stone-Men matched up with the defending champion Sandvipers in a doubleheader. Jimmy Talamantez hit a home run off Casey Herzog in the first inning, but when Herzog was chased from the game after allowing his second walk, last season’s ERA leader Trench Picone came in, and he pitched 4⅔ innings allowing just one run in a 5-3 win over the Stone-Men in their first game. In game two the Sandvipers jumped out to an 11-0 lead, but the Stone-Men would fight their way back into the game, eventually losing 11-9. Talamantez hit his second home run of the night, and Levi Lawrence also hit a longball for the Stone-Men.
The Stone-Men faced off against the Bombers in their third game of the night. The Bombers would jump out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, and they would go on to win 11-1 in just four innings due to the mercy rule. Dave Seifert pitched all four innings for the Bombers, striking out seven, and hit his first career PLW home run. In the Bombers second game they defeated the Calicos 5-0. Jim Dodos and TJ Brown combined to shut out the Calicos, and Dodos hit a tape measure home run that was estimated at almost 150 feet!
The Tomahawks made their debut against the Calicos in the fifth game of the night. Alex Carrasco pitched a complete game coming off an injury to his left foot, and was able to hold the Tomahawks to just two runs. Carrasco also went 4-6 with four singles, and the Calicos scored seven runs in the game without recording an extra base hit. In their second game, the Tomahawks played against another expansion team, the Ones.
The Tomahawks jumped out to a 5-1 lead early in the game, but the Ones tied the game in the bottom of the third inning. After a scoreless fourth inning, the Tomahawks put up four runs in the final inning, and the Ones answered back with three of their own, but came up short, losing 9-8 in a back and forth slugfest. Joel Gutierrez and Ryan Chen both hit home runs for the Ones, and Kenny Tracy homered for the Tomahawks.
In their second game of the night, the Ones defeated the Snappers 11-0 in just four innings. Ryan Chen pitched three innings, and he struck out seven batters while pitching around four hits. The Snappers bounced back in their second game of the night, defeating the Warbirds 3-0. Taylor Bryner shut the Warbirds out for the first four innings before the Snappers #1 overall pick in the draft, Manny Santillanes, came in to close it out. Santillanes also hit his first PLW home run earlier in the game to put the Snappers on the board.
Opening night for the PLW spring season will be Monday, February 8th. There is also an upcoming PLW single day draft tournament on Saturday, February 27th. Sign up today!