Skeeters ready to come home
By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
Former Sugar Land Skeeter Jeremy Barfield is on a hot streak with Portland (Maine) of the Eastern League.
In his first eleven games with the Sea Dogs, his batting average is .318 with four home runs and seven runs-batted-in.
“The biggest difference between the Skeeters and the Sea Dogs is the age of the players. Most of the guys here are younger. One of my teammates is 20. There are a few Atlantic League veterans I have come across already,” Barfield said. “Also, the pitchers throw a lot harder here. That doesn’t necessarily make them any better. It’s just a lot more velocity here.”
Barfield has been keeping up with the Skeeters.
“I hope they can persevere through the rough stretch of their schedule and successfully defend our title,” Barfield said. “It seems like Andy Wilkins is swinging it extremely well. I have definitely been following the guys. I miss them all.”
Also on the Sea Dogs are Jake Cosart of Clear Creek High School in Friendswood, and Jacob Dahlstrand of Memorial High School in Houston. Cosart, a reliever, has a 2.50 earned run average in 15 games and two saves. Dahlstrand has a 4-1 record in seven starts and a 5.26 earned run average.
The Skeeters ended play on Sunday with a 22-22 record. They are in third place in the Freedom Division, three games behind the Lancaster Barnstormers.
This past week the Skeeters went 3-3, taking two out of three at Long Island and one out of three at Somerset. The Skeeters continue on the road at Lancaster for three games before returning to Constellation Field for a six game home stand with Southern Maryland beginning Friday.
Andy Wilkins is hitting .414 in his last seven games with four doubles, two home runs and five runs-batted-in. Josh Prince is hitting .353 and Hector Olivera is .316 for the past seven games.
Brett Marshall pitched 13 innings last week giving up just one earned run, while Jake Hale gave up just two earned runs in 13 and 1/3 innings.
As of Sunday night in the Freedom Division, the Skeeters were in third place behind the Lancaster Barnstormers (24-19) and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (22-21) and ahead of the York Revolution (17-25). The Patriots lead the Liberty Division, followed by the Bridgeport Bluefish (25-20), Long Island Ducks (21-23) and New Britain Bees (16-27).
To reduce travel expenses, each Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs (ALPB) team is only visiting Sugar Land twice during the season.
The Skeeters will host each team for a six-game series and a four-game series at Constellation Field this season, with the exception of Bridgeport and Long Island, who will come down for a seven-game series and a three-game series.
This schedule format means the Skeeters will have longer road trips. They are currently finishing a 12-game road trip. The Skeeters will have a 10-game road trip beginning June 30, a seven-game road trip beginning July 20, an 11-game road trip beginning Aug. 3, a seven-game road trip beginning Aug. 21, and a six-game road trip beginning Sept. 5.
Manager Gary Gaetti has picked up a pair of players from York for players to be named later. Joining the Skeeters are right-handed pitcher Julio DePaula and infielder Bryan Pounds. Two players were picked up by the Skeeters only to by called up almost immediately. Josh Outman went to Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican Baseball League and Ryan Jackson went to the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Recently signed by the Skeeters are Hector Olivera and Scott Maine.
Skeeter of the Week
Andy Wilkins is hitting .414 in his last seven games with four doubles, two home runs and five runs-batted-in, raising his average for the season to .324. That output earns him the Fort Bend Star’s Skeeter of the Week honors.
(Editor Joe Southern contributed to this story.)