By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
Jake Hale, Kevin Ahrens, Anthony Giansanti and Michael Nix have been selected to represent the Sugar Land Skeeters in the Atlantic League All-Star game to be played tonight, July 12, at Bridgewater, N.J.
Skeeters’ manager Gary Gaetti will be the manager for the Freedom Division, and will have his assistant coaches, Raffy Montalvo and Travis Scott, on the bench with him.
This is the third year that Hale has been selected for the All-Star game. Hale is 5-2 in 12 starts for the Skeeters. His earned run average is 2.77, which is fourth best in the league.
“It is a great honor with all the talent in this league and how competitive it’s been this year. Especially that we really noticed a lot of guys getting picked up out of the league, the talent is there. To be in that category, with all the guys selected, it’s just a great honor to be selected again,” Hale said.
Hale was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2005, and has been with the Skeeters for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2016, he was 6-3 with an earned run average of 3.73 in 103 innings.
Kevin Ahrens was selected for the second time to play in the All-Star game. Ahrens is hitting .249 with 20 RBI’s.
“I’m super excited to be part of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game. It’s a great honor to have and to play with the best Atlantic League players at the mid-season break is always fun and I’m just excited to be part of it,” Ahrens said.
Ahrens was a 2016 selection while he was with the Lancaster Barnstormers, where his batting average was .284 with 64 RBIs.
This will be the first All-Star game for Anthony Giansanti. He is hitting .279 with 25 RBIs.
“It has been a long and crazy road for me in this game. I put in a lot of work this off-season, and to see some of it come to fruition, I feel really grateful and excited. It means a lot to me,” Giansanti said.
Giansanti was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2009.
Michael Nix was selected for the first time as he currently leads the league with a 2.13 earned run average. Nix is 7-5 in 15 games started.
“It’s not just a great accomplishment personally, but an honor to represent Sugar Land in the All-Star Game. I’m super excited and can’t wait to be a part of a great experience. I hope with Somerset, we put on very good show for everybody,” Nix said.
Nix was drafted by Atlanta in the 2005 draft. He joined the Skeeters in 2016 and had a 2-1 record with a 3.13 earned run average.
This will be the second All-Star game for Gary Gaetti. He managed in the 2014 game that was held in Sugar Land. Gaetti was Atlantic League Manager of the Year in 2013, when the Skeeters went 95-45.
The Skeeters went 3-3 last week. On Monday (July 3), the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs beat the Skeeters 2-1. The Blue Crabs won again by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday before the Skeeters came back to win 5-3 on Wednesday. The Skeeters then moved on to Somerset where the won Friday’s game 12-0 and Saturday’s game 10-4. On Sunday, the Patriots won 2-1.
Anthony Giansanti continues to lead the Skeeters with a .282 batting average in 66 games, and Travis Scott has 36 runs-batted-in. Wilfredo Rodriguez is hitting .318 in 32 games, and Hector Olivera has a .313 batting average in 29 games.
Michael Nix leads the Skeeters’ starting pitchers with a 7-5 record and 2.13 earned run average. Jake Hale is 5-2 with a 2.68 earned run average.
The Skeeters return home on Friday, July 14, for a six-game home stand with the Lancaster Barnstormers. There will be fireworks after Friday’s game, and Saturday will be Craig Biggio Hall of Fame Bobblehead night. Sunday will be Swatson bobblebelly night, and Monday is Margarita Monday, Dollar Dog Monday and Fort Bend County Employees Day. Tuesday will be Two for Tuesday, and Wednesday will be Super Splash Day.
Skeeter of the Week
Bryan Pounds is the Fort Bend Star Skeeter of the week. During the last week, Pounds’ batting average was .381 with four doubles, one home run, and an RBI.