By Bill McCaughey
The Sugar Land Skeeters returned home from a weeklong road trip on Tuesday, May 31, and rallied from a 7-2 deficit to beat the New Britain Bees 10-7 in the first-ever meeting of the two teams at Constellation Field.
Both teams were quiet in the first two innings with the Bees getting only a walk in the first inning, and the Skeeters going three up three down in the first, and in the second stranding Kent Matthes on second after his double and Beamer Weems on first after a walk.
The Bees took a one run lead in the third inning as Jon Jones scored on a Brandon Chaves single. In the bottom half of the third inning, the Skeeters quickly responded on a two-run Josh Prince home run, his first of the season.
Both teams went three up and three down in the fourth. The Bees tied it up in the fifth when James Skelton singled, stole second base and scored when Chaves reached on an error. Again the Skeeters when three up three down in the bottom of the fifth.
Skeeters starting pitching Parker Frazier was untouchable for the first five innings giving up one earned run and three hits, but it came apart in the sixth. With two outs, Jones singled in a run and Anthony Hewitt drove in two runs with a single. Andrew Johnston then replaced Frazier and was greeted by a two-run home run by James Skelton, making the score Bees 7, Skeeters 2.
The Skeeters would not give up as in the bottom half of the inning, Ricky Hague led off with a home run, Delwyn Young singled, Kent Matthes walked and Jeff Dominguez singled to load the bases. Beamer Weems then bunted in a run. Patrick Palmeiro singled in the final run of the inning making the score 7-6.
The Bees attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh by loading the bases on three singles, but reliever Johnston got Jon Jones to hit a ground ball to Patrick Palmeiro who threw to first for the third out.
The Skeeters kept it up in the bottom of the seventh as Prince walked, Hague singled, and Young singled in Prince. Jeremy Barfield then tripled to score Hague and Young.
Zeck Zinicola came in to pitch the eighth and shut down the Bees one, two, three. The Skeeters finished their scoring in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run by Wilfredo Rodriguez.
Closer Derrick Loop came on in the ninth and after giving up a leadoff double to Jovan Rosa, he got the next three outs.
Once again the bullpen was effective as Johnston, Zeck Zinicola and Derrick Loop pitched three and one third innings allowing one run on one hit.
Skelton, Maddox, Rivers and Jones each had two hits for the Bees. Ricky Hague extended his hitting streak to nine games going two-for-five. Jeremy Barfield extended his hitting streak to five games by going one-for-four, and Delwyn Young chipped in two hits.
Manager Gary Gaetti was happy with the way his team responded to being behind by five runs.
“We needed to get some runs back and then shut them down, and we did,” Gaetti said.
Bees 3, Skeeters 2
On Wednesday, the Bees stung the Skeeters 3-2. The Bees scored a run in the second inning on a Jonathan Roof walk, a Jon Griffin double and a Jon Jones single. The Skeeters tied it up in the fifth on a Travis Scott home run.
In the sixth inning, the Bees added a run on a Craig Maddox home run. The Skeeters responded in the bottom half of the inning as Ricky Hague walked, took second on a ground out and third on a wild pitch. Jeremy Barfield then singled him in to tie the game.
The Bees scored the winning run in the seventh inning when Anthony Hewitt singled and scored on a James Skelton double.
Craig Maddox led the Bees going 3-for-4. The Bees’ pitchers, Brian Dupra, Brandon Fry, Sean Gleason and Shawn Gilblair held the Skeeters to two runs and five hits.
Roy Merritt went six innings for the Skeeters giving up two runs on six hits.
Bees 7, Skeeters 1
The Bees took the series by beating the Skeeters 7-1 on Thursday night. The Bees started out strong, scoring three runs in the first and two runs in the second.
In the first for the Bees, Steve Carillo led off with a double and Michael Crouse was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. Jovan Rosa then blasted a three run home run. In the top of the second, Jon Jones reached on an error and Anthony Hewitt followed with a long home run.
In the sixth, the Bees added another run on a Jones double and a Hewitt single. The Bees ended their scoring in the ninth on a walk to Nick Murphy, a single by Carillo and a single by Crouse.
Meanwhile the Skeeters were held scoreless until the bottom of the ninth when they picked up one run on a Ricky Hague double and a Delwyn Young single.
The starter for the Bees, Cole Johnson, pitched eight shutout innings giving up only three hits. Both Carillo and Hewitt had two hits for the Bee, and Rosa had three RBI’s. Jeremy Barfield had two of the Skeeters’ five hits.
Skeeters 3, Ducks 1
The Skeeters ended their two-game losing streak by beating the Long Island Ducks 3-1 on Friday night on the road. The Skeeters scored in the first inning on a Jeff Dominguez single, and after Ricky Hague sacrificed Dominguez to second, Jeremy Barfield drove him home with a single.
The Ducks tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. They loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, and then Anthony Vega walked to force in a run. The Skeeters quickly responded as Dominguez led off with a triple and then scored as Delwyn Young hit into a double play.
The Skeeters took the lead for good on a Jeremy Barfield solo home run in the top of the ninth inning. Closer Derrick Loop then came on for the Skeeters. Loop struck out the first batter, but Mike Dowd singled, and after a foul pop out for out number two, Fehlandt Lentini singled and Dan Lyons walked to load the bases. Loop then got Ruben Gotay to ground out to Beamer Weems for the final out of the game.
Sean Gallagher pitched eight strong innings for the Skeeters, giving up just one run on four hits. Jeff Dominguez and Rene Tosoni both had three hits for the Skeeters. Jeremy Barfield had two hits including the game winning home run.
Ducks 7, Skeeters 3
The Ducks swatted the Skeeters 7-3 Saturday night. The Ducks scored in the first inning on a Fehlandt Lentini single and a Dan Lyons double. The Skeeters tied it up in the top of the third inning as Ricky Hague reached on an error, went to third on a Rene Tosoni single and then scored on Jeremy Barfield’s single to left field.
The Ducks took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. After Ruben Gotay singled, Cody Puckett homered to make the score 3-1. The Skeeters added a run in the fifth when Hague singled to right field and scored on Tosoni’s triple to center field.
The Duck’s put the game away in the bottom of the fifth inning. Anthony Vega singled to the pitcher and took second on a bad throw. Lentini singled to put runners on third and first. Both runners then scored on Lyon’s second double of the game. The Ducks then added insurance runs in both the seventh and eighth, making the final score 7-3. Rene Tosoni and Patrick Palmeiro had two hits each for the Skeeters, while Dan Lyons led the Ducks with three hits and three RBI’s.
Ducks 9, Skeeters 1
On Sunday, the Ducks took the series by beating the Skeeters 9-1. The Skeeters got on the scoreboard in the first inning as Jeff Dominguez reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Jeremy Barfield’s single. That would complete the scoring for the Skeeters as Ducks’ starter John Brownell pitched a complete game allowing just one run on four hits. Brownell is now 4-1 with a 3.24 earned run average.
The Ducks tied it up in the bottom of the first as Fehlandt Lentini led off with a single, went to second on a Dan Lyons single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. The Ducks added three more runs in the third as Lentini homered, and Lyons doubled and scored on Cody Puckett’s home run. The Ducks scored two more in the fifth as Lentini singled, Lyons singled, and Gotay walked to load the bases. Lentini scored on a fielder’s choice, and Lyons scored on a Blake Tekotte double. The Skeeters brought in Chris Rearick to pitch the seventh and Gotay greeted him with a leadoff home run. The Ducks finished the scoring in the eighth as Mike Dowd walked and scored on Anthony Vega’s triple.
The Fort Bend Star Skeeter of the Week is Jeremy Barfield. Barfield has a 10- game hitting streak and went 12-for-29 in his last eight games for a .414 average. Coming in second was Sean Gallagher with two wins and no losses for the week giving up only three earned runs in 14 innings.
Pitcher Ian Marshall was released. Marshall was 0-3 in five starts and gave up 22 earned runs. Barrett Loux has been placed on the inactive list.
The Skeeters are now 23-21, three games behind the York Revolution. The Skeeters have three wins in their last 10 games.
The New Britain Bees are a new team in the Atlantic League and Tuesday was their first game in Constellation Field.
The Skeeters began a six-game home stand on Tuesday, June 7. The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are here for three games and then the division leading York Revolution come to town for three games.