LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Each team had a doubleheader on the final Monday of the season to play their final two games, and some had major playoff implications. The Stone Men played against the Bombers in the first series of the night, and a win would solidify their spot in seventh place, giving them a wild card game to avoid relegation play. The Warbirds would need to sweep The Ones in order to get a wild card spot in the playoffs, and the Calicos could cement their spot in the semifinals with a sweep, avoiding the one game wild card.
The Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of game one, capped off by a three-run homer from Hollis “Hollywood” Hale. Jimmy Talamantez hit a double to lead off the second, but that’s the only hit the Stone Men would get, as the Bombers scored six runs in the bottom of the inning for the 11-0 mercy rule victory. Game two was more of the same from the Bombers, as they scored six runs in the top of the first, and Hollywood hit another home run, his league leading 25th of the season, to drive in the final runs of the rally. The Bombers tacked on another run in the second, and in the top of the third they put up five runs to take a 12-0 lead. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Sesaí Sesaee hit his first home run of the season, but that’s all the Stone Men would get, as they would lose 12-1 in another mercy shortened game.
A win against the Warbirds would put The Ones in the wild card game, and manager Ryan Chen took over to get his team into the one game playoff. Chen pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits, and all three were singles, two of which came off the bat of Brian “Uncle B” Puter. Chen also hit a single in the fourth inning to drive in the game’s only run, propelling his team to a 1-0 win. In game two Adam “AK” Koutz and Cody Schmidt split the innings, and only allowed one run on an RBI single from Nate Serisky. The Ones were able to piece together seven runs against the bottom of the Warbirds’ rotation, but didn’t hit a home run in the 7-1 victory.
The Calicos would need a sweep against the Tomahawks, and they had James “FJ” Stein in attendance to make sure that happened. Stein threw a complete game shutout in game one of the series, striking out ten. In the second inning Alain Fernandez hit a leadoff home run, Matty Levine hit a home run two batters later, and manager Nick DiVella went back-to-back with Alex Carrasco, giving the Calicos a 6-0 lead. They would go on to win 6-0. In game two FJ threw a complete game shutout yet again, and this time only allowed one hit, a single from Brad Ogden in the second inning. AJ Petrovsky hit a three-run home run in the second inning to put the Calicos up 4-0, and DiVella hit his second home run of the series in the fifth. The Calicos would win 9-0, and finish the regular season in third place, with a spot in the semifinals next week.
The Snappers and Sandvipers squared off in the final doubleheader of the season, but the series was fairly laid back since each spot in the standings was already decided. Taylor Bryner hit a leadoff home run to start off game one, but Tom “Dr. Winkly” Gannon and Casey Herzog went back-to-back off Snappers co-manager Jesse Capps in the bottom of the first, giving the Sandvipers a 3-1 lead. Bryner would hit another home run in the second to tie the game, but back-to-back RBI walks from Herzog and Trench Picone in the bottom of the inning would give the vipers a 5-3 lead. A grand slam from Adam Tanic in the bottom of the third put his team up 10-3, and that score would hold through the end of the game. Bryner almost hit a leadoff homer again in game two, but Tanic reached above the storage container in left field, and batted the would-be home run back onto the field for a single. Bryner would come around to score on a double from Shane Weber, putting the Snappers up 1-0. They would put together a rally in the third inning, scoring four runs to take a 5-0 lead going into the fourth, but Winkly and Herzog would go back-to-back to lead off the fourth. Winkly hit a triple in the fifth that drove in two, and put the tying run on third, but Weber would come in to close out the 5-4 win in an exciting end to the season.
The Premier League Wiffle® postseason kicks off on Thursday, April 29th with a pair of wild card games. The Stone Men and Warbirds face off in the relegation game at 7:30pm PDT to decide who stays in the league, and who will have to play in the relegation tournament on Saturday, May 1st to fight for their spot. The Ones and Snappers will follow that up with the wild card game at 8:30pm to decide which team advances to the PLW semifinals on Monday, May 3rd. Tune in LIVE on Twitch!