By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
Jeremy Barfield continues his quest for the triple crown, as he leads the league in batting average at .327, is second in homeruns with 11 and is first with 45 RBI’s. Two players have higher batting averages, Steve Lombardozzi .367 and Isaias Tejeda .351, but both signed major league contracts in June.
The Skeeters will open a four game series at Constellation Field on Thursday with the York Revolution. So far this season the two teams have split their ten games, with both winning five games.
The Revolution recently lost two players to the major leagues with first baseman Telvin Nash signing with the Chicago White Sox, and catcher Isaias Tejeda signing with the Atlanta Braves.
Nash was leading the Atlantic League with 15 home runs, and Tejeda was second in the league in batting average at .351 when they left.
On Sunday the Skeeters are hosting Bark in the Park. All fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to the game. Dogs must be friendly, have their shots and be on a leash.
Brett Jodie, manager of the defending Atlantic League champion Somerset Patriots will manage the Liberty Division all-stars, and Stan Cliburn, former manager of the defending Freedom Division Champion Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and current manager of the New Britain Bees, will manage the Freedom Division all-stars in the Atlantic League All-Star game on July 13, 2016 at Lancaster.
Jodie has managed the Patriots since 2013 and his reached the playoffs in each of his three seasons.
Cliburn has won over 1,500 games in his managerial career.
The Atlantic League All-Star uniforms have been designed with the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania farm scape as its theme. The All-Star game will be held July 13 at the home of the Lancaster Barnstormers. The home Freedom Division team will wear red jerseys and the visiting Liberty Division team will wear yellow. Both jerseys will have a farm scape printed on the back.
BEST BALL PARK VOTING
The Somerset Patriots’ TD Bank Ballpark has won the 2016 Best Ballpark in the Independent Leagues. The contest was sponsored by Ball Park Digest. The TD Bank Ballpark received 78% of the vote over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ Regency Furniture Stadium. TD Bank Ballpark beat the Sugar Land Skeeters’ Constellation Field in the semi-finals of the competition.
Other winners are Louisville Slugger Field, home of the AAA League Louisville Bats, Blue Wahoos Stadium, home of the AA League Pensacola Blue Wahoos, BB&T Ballpark, home of the High A League Winston-Salem Dash, and Parkview Field, home of the Low A League Fort Wayne TinCaps.
In the Major League Best Ballpark competition, Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros, lost in the first round to the Mets’ Citi Field. The Major League final is between San Francisco’s AT&T Park and Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.
SKEETER OF THE WEEK
The Fort Bend Star Skeeter of the Week is Beamer Weems, with a batting average of .429 for the week. Second place was Aaron Thompson who pitched seven innings of shutout ball to gain a victory.
Brooks Conrad and Tyson Gillies were released. Conrad had fourteen years of professional baseball experience, six of which were in the Major Leagues.
Gillies had nine years of professional baseball experience, reaching the AAA level in the Philadelphia Phillies system.