LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – There were five games at The Hideaway on Thursday night, and after Thursday’s games each Premier League Wiffle® team will have 40 games played, leaving the last two for each team on Monday to close out the season. These games all had playoff implications, so there was a playoff atmosphere that should carry through the end of the spring season. For some teams, their fate could come down to the very last game.
The Snappers and Warbirds played a doubleheader to start the night. In the first game MVP favorite Taylor Bryner took the ball, and he shut the Warbirds down, allowing just two hits, a double from Matt “Mattlanta” Petrikas in the second, and a single from Chad “Cheppa” Phillips in the fifth. Bryner was also 3-5 with two homers and four runs batted in to help his cause, and Shane Weber was 3-5 with a solo homer. The Snappers would take game one 7-0.
In the second game of the series Mattlanta hit a leadoff double off Weber, and KJ Lacroix followed that up with an RBI single to put the Warbirds on the board. Bryner would get that run back with a solo shot in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1, but Brian “Uncle B” Puter hit a solo shot of his own to put the Warbirds up 2-1. In the bottom of the second, Bryner hit another game-tying home run, and the game would remain tied until the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, co-manager Jesse Capps hit a leadoff single, and Jonathan Wilson brought him in with a triple to give the Snappers a 3-2 lead. Weber would close the game out in the top of the fifth for the complete game, and the sweep.
The Warbirds played one more game against the Sandvipers after their series with the Snappers. Manager Adam Tanic and Tom “Dr. Winkly” Gannon hit back-to-back home runs off Uncle B to lead off the game, and Tanic homered twice in the inning, putting the Warbirds up 4-0. That’s all Sandvipers starter Jason Walker would need, as he would only allow one earned run in a complete game effort, although the Warbirds would push across an unearned run in the first inning. In the fourth inning, Winkly hit his third homer of the game, and he went back-to-back with Casey Herzog off of Cheppa. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Winkly hit a home run off Mattlanta, his fourth of the game against three different pitchers. That makes Gannon the first PLW player to hit four home runs in a single game, and puts him at 18 home runs on the season.
The final doubleheader of the night was between The Ones and Calicos. In game one James “FJ” Stein hit a leadoff single in the third inning, and scored on a fielder’s choice four batters later. Adam “AK” Koutz hit a solo shot in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1, and the game would go into extra innings. Alex Carrasco hit an opposite field grand slam in the lone extra inning, and he struck out the side after allowing an unearned run to close out the 5-2 win.
The final game of the night was a pitcher’s duel between Ones manager Ryan Chen, and FJ. In the top of the third AK hit a home run off FJ to put The Ones on the board, and Chen would continue to shut the Calicos down until the final frame. Calicos manager Nick DiVella hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth, and he would bring in rookie Alain Fernandez to pinch-hit. Fernandez came through in the clutch, hitting a pinch-hit walk-off two-run homer, lifting the Calicos to a 2-1 win in the last game of the night. Fernandez and his son Carrasco both hit game-winning home runs in the final inning of the same doubleheader.
The final games of the Premier League Wiffle® spring regular season will be on Monday, April 26th. There will be a full slate of games beginning with a doubleheader between the Bombers and Stone Men at 4:30pm PDT, followed by Warbirds vs. The Ones at 6pm, Tomahawks vs. Calicos at 7:30pm, and finishing the season with Snappers vs. Sandvipers at 9pm. The Ones need one win to secure a wild card spot against the Warbirds, who would make the wild card game with a sweep, the Calicos clinch third place with a sweep, and the Snappers can finish third with a sweep and a Calicos loss, or a sweep of the Calicos and a split against the Sandvipers. Tune in LIVE on Twitch!