By Joe Southern
Heading into Monday night’s game against the Lancaster Barnstormers, the Sugar Land Skeeters held a narrow half-game lead over the York Revolution in the Freedom Division and the overall best second-half record in the Atlantic League.
The Skeeters (22-15, 57-50 overall) are 6-4 in their last 10 games, coming home after six-game road trip where they went 4-2 against the Bridgeport Bluefish and New Britain Bees. They swept three games against Bridgeport (19-17, 49-57) including a double-header on Thursday.
In their three games with the New Britain (14-23, 50-57), the Skeeters got stung by the Bees in two games and took the third to salvage the series.
Heading into this week, the Skeeters play four against the Barnstormers (16-20, 51-55) and finish the week with three games against the Long Island Ducks (19-16, 59-46). With the upcoming homestand, the Skeeters will play 21 of their last 33 games at home in their chase for the Freedom Division title. They will get next Monday off and then return to the road to face York and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
SKEETER OF THE WEEK
Derrick Loop earned his 26th save of the season and passed Gary Majewski for most saves by a Skeeter in a single season during the first game in Thursday’s double-header. He pitched one inning, getting one strikeout for the save. Setting the record earned Loop the Fort Bend Star Skeeter of the Week honors.
Rene Tosoni recently went through a 1-20 (.050) slide but after his 3-3 evening with a 3B, HR and 3 RBI against the Bees on Saturday night, Tosoni is batting .416 (5-12).
FORMER SKEETER CALLED UP
Former Sugar Land Skeeters pitcher Chris Smith, 35 was called up by the Oakland A’s on Aug. 7, to face the Chicago Cubs. Smith pitched an inning in his outing, giving up no runs on one hit with a strikeout.
The California native has four years of MLB experience between the Red Sox, Brewers and A’s organization where he has accumulated a record of 1-0 with a 5.11 ERA over 68.2 IP with 53 strikeouts and 27 walks. In 2014, Smith was lights out for the Skeeters in his eight starts, going a perfect 6-0 with a 2.15 ERA in 50.1 IP with 55 strikeouts and 10 walks.
Smith is the third former Skeeter to join a major league roster in 2016 along with Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hunter Cervenka of the Miami Marlins.
Smith is also the sixth former Skeeter to get back to the big leagues after playing with Sugar Land. The list includes Kazmir (2013, CLE) Cervenka (2016, ATL/MIA), Jason Lane (2014, SDP), Ryan Langerhans (2013, TOR) and Tim Stauffer (2015, MIN/NYM).
You will go to the Skeeters game Friday night (insert hand wave here) as the team celebrates Star Wars Night along with Football Night and Friday Night Fireworks. Game time is 7:05 p.m. against the Ducks.
Say cheese Saturday as the Skeeters give away selfie sticks to the first 2,000 fans at Constellation Field. The promotion is sponsored by Constellation Energy. Saturday is also Home Improvement Night. Game time is 6:05 p.m.
Sunday Funday wraps up the weekend with Outdoors Night and Back to School Night. Game time is 6:05 p.m.
The Skeeters activated Josh Prince and Lance Zawadzki.