LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The Premier League Wiffle® spring playoffs continued on Monday night with both best of three semifinals matchups. The Calicos and Bombers would play first, followed by the Snappers and Sandvipers. Both teams were at full strength in the first series, with James “FJ” Stein making the drive from Utah, and Peter Mocabee making an even longer drive from California, and tensions were high at The Hideaway, as two teams would be eliminated in short order. Taylor Bryner and FJ both had impressive pitching performances, and they will face off in the Premier League Wiffle® spring championship series on Thursday night.
In game one of the Bombers vs. Calicos series, Jim Dodos hit a solo shot off James Stein to tie the game at 1-1 in the first inning, but that’s the only hit the Bombers would get off FJ. The Calicos broke through for four runs in the top of the fourth, and that’s all FJ would need, as he would retire the next six batters to close out the game. Stein would shut the Bombers out in game two, and the co’s rallied for three runs in the bottom of the first, capped off by an RBI double from FJ to help out his own cause. Bombers manager TJ Brown was the only batter that FJ struggled with, going 3-4 with three base hits. Maio settled down after the first inning, allowing just one hit, but the Calicos went on to win 3-0, and will advance to the PLW finals.
The Sandvipers and Snappers squared off in the second semifinal series. Bryner was coming off a wild card game in which he retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced against a strong Ones lineup, and he seemed to carry that momentum into the series against the vipers. The Snappers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after a pair of walks and a two-run double from Shane Weber. The Sandvipers would get both runs back after a single from Tom Gannon, and back-to-back doubles from Trench Picone and Jason Walker. Bryner would break the tie with a solo shot in the fourth, and came around to score again in the fifth after hitting a double before he closed out a 4-2 win in a complete game effort. In game two Bryner was even sharper, striking out nine, and only allowing two hits. He also doubled and singles in a three run bottom of the first, and those runs would hold up, as the Snappers, who were ranked number eight in the preseason poll, advance to the championship series on Thursday.
Tune in LIVE on Twitch as FJ and the Calicos take on Bryner and the Snappers in a best of three series to close out the summer season. There will be a try-out for prospective players interested in entering the draft next Thursday, May 13th, followed by a home run derby streamed on Twitch that evening.