LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – The second week of the Premier League Wiffle® spring season has come to a conclusion, and what a week it was. With the first mercy rule win of the season, a sweep, a windy night, and a pair of extra inning thrillers to cap it all off, week two had it all. Here’s everything you may have missed:
Bauer Powers Bombers Offense
The Night Owls had out of town superstar Randy Dalbey making his spring season debut on Monday night, and he would toe the rubber in game one, squaring off against Max Fernandez for the Bombers. Challenger’s Tournament hero AJ Petrovsky hit a two-run homer off Fernandez to open the scoring in the top of the first, but Max would settle down after that, shutting the owls down for the rest of the game, and striking out eleven. Mateo Fernandez hit a solo shot off Dalbey in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half, and he would push another run across in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. On the first pitch in the bottom of the last, Trevor Bauer hit a walk-off home run to give the Bombers the 3-2 win.
In Game two Bombers manager Alex Fernandez took the ball, and MLB vet, but PLW rookie, Josh Towers would get the start for the Night Owls. Matty Levine hit a two-run homer in the top of the second to put the owls up 2-0, but the Bombers tied the game in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Hollis Hale & Mateo Fernandez. Trevor Bauer hit a solo shot in the bottom of the third to put the Bombers up 3-2, but Night Owls manager Nick DiVella responded with a two-run shot in the top of the fourth to retake the lead. AJ Petrovsky hit a three-run homer in the sixth to give the owls some insurance, and they would get the 7-3 win.
The third game would feature veteran Jason Walker of the Night Owls, and rookie Lonnell Simmons of the Bombers as the starting pithchers. Barry Hutter hit a solo shot in the top of the first, but the Bombers would rally for four in the bottom of the inning thanks to bigflies from Mateo Fernandez and Trevor Bauer. Hutter hit an RBI single in the second to bring the owls within two, Josh Towers hit the first home run of his young PLW career in the third, and he would also put the Night Owls up 5-4 with a RBI single later in the inning. The owls would give the ball to Dalbey in the bottom of the third, and Bauer would welcome him to the game with yet another solo homer to tie the game. The Bombers would rally for five runs, taking a 9-5 lead, and Bauer would hit his fifth solo shot of the night in the bottom of the fifth, as the Bombers took game three 10-5.
The Ones Win Two
The Ones and Vaderz squared off in the second series of the week. The Ones handed the ball to Cody Schmidt in game one, and the Vaderz went with Tanner Roundy. Adam Koutz hit a RBI single in the top of the second to put The Ones up 1-0, and after walking Roundy out of the game, manager Scottez Dobbins hit a two-run blast off Scott Burley in the fourth to put his team up 3-0. In the bottom of the inning rookie Ethan Ibarra hit a two-run homer off the hands of Spencer Barrick to cut the lead to one, but Koutz responded with a three-run shot the following inning, and Adrian Gutierrez tacked on another with a solo homer in the sixth. Kyle Eder hit a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the inning, but the Vaderz would fall 7-3 in game one.
The Vaderz would bounce back in game two as they handed the ball to their ace, Billy Santiwan. Eder would hit a two-run shot in the first inning, and that’s all Santiwan would need, as he diced up a potent ones lineup with his knuckleball. The Ones would only manage to reach base one time on a single from Austin “Bird” Bull, and the Vaderz would tack on a third run in the fifth on their way to a 3-0 win.
The Ones offense came back to life in game three, as they put up five runs in the top of the first, thanks to a three-run homer from Cody Schmidt, and a pair of run scoring hits from Koutz & Ryan Chen. That’s all The Ones would need, as they held the Vaderz to three runs, scored on a pair of home runs from Eder & Ibarra in the fourth inning. The Ones would also score two more via solo shots from Koutz & Gutierrez on their way to another 7-3 win.
Cajuns Mercy Legends in the Wind
The wind was whipping on Wednesday night at The Hideaway, as the Cajuns took on the Legends. It was blowing out to right field, and pitchers struggled to find the zone. Billy Osgood, James Church, Jason Stephenson, and Ethan Wigfield all walked out for the Legends, but Sashi Bobba was able to find the zone for the Cajuns after rookie Nathan Reusch walked out. Manager Andrew Ledet, Will Morris, and Beau Evans all hit homers for the Cajuns in game one, with Ledet & Morris each collecting 4 RBI as well. Alex Garcia hit the lone home run on the Legends side, as they fell 14-4 after four innings in the first mercy-shortened game of the season.
The Cajuns handed the ball to Ryan Reusch in game two, while the Legends went with Jason Stephenson. Walks would play a major role again, as Stephenson, Church, and Osgood would each walk two batters. Garcia hit his second homer of the night in the bottom of the sixth, but it was a case of too little, too late, as the Cajuns had already put up six runs. Reusch would walk out in the final inning, but Ledet was able to record the final three outs without much trouble.
The final game of the series was an absolute pitcher’s duel between the second overall pick in the draft, Will Morris, and Casey Taravella. Both pitchers went the distance, allowed four hits, one earned run, and struck out double digits. Bobba would get the lone RBI for the Cajuns with a single in the top of the first, and Taravella would settle in after that. Nick Sansone tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly, and two innings later Derrik Corral hit an RBI double to walk it off, staving off the sweep.
Sandvipers Sweep Snappers
Thursday night featured a rematch of the championship series, as the Snappers took on the Sandvipers. Both teams would start their lefty in game one, with the Sandvipers going to Tom Gannon, and the Snappers giving the ball to Brandon Gregg. Both pitchers would hold their opposition scoreless in the first inning, but in the top of the second, Justin Hicks would plate two runs with a double, and in the bottom of the inning, Manny Santillanes responded with a solo homer to cut the lead in half. Hicks would tack on an insurance run with a RBI single in the fifth, and Gannon would walk out in the sixth, but manager Adam Tanic would induce a double play, getting the one pitch save.
Tanic would carry that right into game two, hitting a leadoff home run, and that’s all he would need, as he shut out the Snappers in six innings of work. Bryner would keep his Snappers in the game, allowing just one additional run on a RBI single from Trench Picone in the fourth, but the Snappers logged just three hits, losing another game by just a pair of runs.
Trench Picone and Shane Weber would match up in the final game of the series. Weber got off to a good start, shutting down the vipers in the first two innings, and hitting a solo shot off Picone to give the Snappers a 1-0 lead after two. Rookie Kenny McDowall hit a RBI single in the third, followed by a two-run shot from Tanic, giving his vipers a 3-1 lead, but Weber would respond with another solo shot to cut the lead to just one run. Justin Hicks hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put the Sandvipers up 5-2, and McDowall hit his first career PLW homer in the sixth, a three-run shot to give the vipers a commanding 8-2 lead. Gannon would come in to pitch the final two innings to close out the sweep, putting the Snappers in unfamiliar territory at the bottom of the standings.
Warbirds defeat Lightning in an Incredible Series
The Warbirds and Lightning faced off on Friday night in a series that had a little bit of everything. Jim Dodos would start game one against Jayk Purdy, but Purdy would walk out after just an inning and a third, as the Warbirds jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a two-run shot from KJ LaCroix, and a RBI single off the bat of Shawn Mersiel. Dodos would walk out after just three innings of work, but Matt Petrikas would pick up right where he left off, stifling Lightning batters until the final inning. Rookie James Perez would tack on an insurance run in the top of the last to give the birds a 4-0 lead, and they would use that insurance the following inning. The Lightning put up three runs with two outs in the sixth, capped off by a two-run homer from Bruce Huson, but it was a case of too little, too late, as the Warbirds held on to win 4-3 in game one.
Game two would be a back and forth battle, with ten different pitchers toeing the rubber, and eleven hits from each team. Huson picked up right where he left off, hitting a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, and the Lightning would tack on two more in the second to take a 4-0 lead. In the top of the third the Warbirds answered by putting up a six spot, but the Lightning would come back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth, Shawn Mersiel would work a walk to give the Warbirds the lead, and LaCroix would tack on another run with a base hit, but with two outs in the bottom of the last, Huson and Devlin Daniel would hit back-to-back jacks to tie the game, sending it into extra innings. Both teams put up a goose egg in the seventh, but Petrikas hit a RBI double in the eighth, and Buck Burner closed it out in the bottom of the inning to give the Warbirds a 9-8 win.
The third game of the series would be yet another extra inning thriller, as LaCroix and Daniel would get the start for their respective teams. Mersiel would drop a RBI single into center field in the top of the second to open the scoring, but Daniel would help his own cause with a two-run homer in the fourth to put the Lightning up 2-1. Petrikas would tie the game with a RBI single in the fifth, and the game would remain knotted at 2-2 until CJ Peterson hit a walk-off double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to give the Lightning the 4-2 win.
Player of the Week
The Player of the Week for week two was none other than Trevor Bauer of the Bombers. Bauer had a .615 average, eight hits, five homers, and a 2.385 OPS against a strong Night Owls pitching staff on his way to winning PotW honors. Tune in LIVE on Twitch Monday – Friday at 6pm PST for more PLW action!