By Joe Southern
The Sugar Land Skeeters ended this season the same way they did last year with a victory over the Long Island Ducks.
The difference is, instead of winning the Atlantic League championship, the Skeeters notched a losing season and the Ducks moved on to the playoffs. The Skeeters did take two of three games from Long Island last weekend and went 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Skeeters were 37-33 in the second half which left them three games out and in third place in the Freedom Division.
The final six-game home stand began with a complete game shutout performance by pitcher Jake Hale on Tuesday against the Bridgeport Bluefish. The victory gave Hale his 11th win of the season. That was followed by a 5-2 victory over the Bluefish behind pitcher Brett Marshall, who earned his 10th win. The Bluefish avoided the sweep 4-3 on Thursday.
The Ducks came to town Friday and former Skeeter Dustin Richardson got the win 8-4 after Sugar Land’s bullpen blew a 4-0 lead. The Skeeters came back to win 5-3 on Saturday but it was the Ducks who did the celebrating as they clinched the playoffs when Somerset beat Bridgeport. Sunday the Skeeters concluded the season under sunny skies and a nearly full house when they beat the Ducks 6-2.
Josh Prince capped his reign as the Atlantic League’s “Prince of Thieves” with 55 stolen bases on the season. He was also awarded the team’s “Most Valuable Player of the Year” award. Hale was presented with the team’s Pitcher of the Year award and catcher
Albert Cordero was awarded the Community “Man of the Year award.”
The Long Island Ducks clinched the Second Half Liberty Division title and will face the Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division Championship Series. The York Revolution won the Second Half Freedom Division title and will battle the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Freedom Division Championship Series. Somerset and Southern Maryland each won the first half in their respective divisions and were the first to clinch postseason berths.
The teams will play a best of five series this week with the winners facing off for the championship series next week.
Skeeter of the Week
Pitcher Jake Hale is the Fort Bend Star’s Skeeter of the Week in recognition of his 11-6 record and pitching a complete game shutout against the Ducks.