LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Week two of the Premier League Wiffle® spring season concluded on Thursday night with a Calicos vs. Bombers doubleheader, and a three game set between the Ones and Snappers. The Calicos and Bombers both came into the night with a 3-1 record, so this series would decide third place in the standings to end the week. The Ones were still looking for their first win of the season in their series against the Snappers, and this was the first time the Ones would face a team with a record below .500 this season.
The first game of the night was a pitchers duel between Bombers ace Brandon Maio, and Calicos ace James Stein. Bombers manager TJ Brown, and Calicos lead off man Matty Levine both hit singles to open the game, but there wouldn’t be another hit until the bottom of the fourth inning. Hollis Hale got things started for the Bombers with a single, and three batters later Dave Seifert hit a two run double to give his team a 2-0 lead. That would prove to be all Maio needed, as he pitched a two hit shutout, and struck out eight.
TJ Brown opened up the scoring in game two with a home run in the second, and he hit a RBI single later in the inning to put the Bombers up 3-0. The Calicos answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, and two innings later Stein hit a two run double to take a 4-3 lead going into the final inning. Alex Carrasco was able to close the game out, and he earned the win in relief, allowing just one run over 3⅔ innings.
Game one of the Snappers vs. Ones series was another pitchers duel. The Snappers pitching tandem of Taylor Bryner and Manny Santillanes Jr went up against the Ones pitching tandem of Cody Schmidt and Ray Guerrero. The game was scoreless through six innings, and Schmidt struck out the side in the top of the seventh with just ten pitches. After seven innings a regular season game ends in a tie, so with his 12th strikeout of the game Schmidt finished off the first shutout of the season for the Ones’ struggling pitching staff. Scottez Dobbins hit a lead off single in the bottom of the seventh, scoring the artificial runner from second base that is used in extra innings, and giving the Ones their first win of the season.
Both teams threw the same pitchers in game two, and batters on each side made adjustments. Dobbins hit a two run homer in the top of the first, and Adam Koutz hit a RBI single to tack on another run. In the bottom of the inning the Snappers answered with three runs of their own thanks to three straight RBI singles from Jelani Allen, Michael Agwara, and Bryner. Joel Gutierrez led off the fourth inning with a home run to break a 4-4 tie, and Ones manager Ryan Chen added an insurance run with a RBI double. The Ones would go on to win game two 6-4, and they were one win away from their first sweep after starting off the season with a 0-6 record.
The Ones struck first in game three. In the bottom of the first Chen hit a two run homer to put his team on the board, and that was followed up by back to back triples from Schmidt and Gutierrez. That’s all the run support the Ones pitching staff would need. Guerrero, Koutz, and Chen were one out away from a combined no-hitter, but Shane Weber hit a single off Chen with two outs in the fifth. With the sweep the Ones are out of the basement, leaving the Snappers and Stone Men at the bottom of the standings with just two wins apiece.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
This week’s Player of the Week award goes to Brandon Maio. Maio pitched 12⅔ innings, going 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA. He pitched two complete game shutouts, and allowed just one run on five hits, to end the week with a staggering 0.55 WHIP, .116 BAA, and 15.63 K/9. Maio also got it done at the plate this week with a .353 average, six hits, a home run, and a 1.009 OPS. Maio seems to have solidified himself as one of the top pitchers in the league, so he could be a regular for this award if his bat stays hot.
The next Premier League Wiffle® action will be on Sunday, February 21st. The Sandviperes and Stone Men kick of the week with a three game afternoon series beginning at 1pm PST. Watch LIVE on YouTube!