By Joe Southern
The Sugar Land Skeeters continued their domination of their closest competitor in the Freedom Division last week by taking two of three from the York Revolution but also continued their struggles against a weaker team.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs won two of three against the Skeeters, leaving the Texas team 3-3 on the week but still leading the Atlantic League in the second half of the season.
The Skeeters are 31-19 in the second half through Sunday and 66-54 overall. They lead York by three games in the second half and trail by two overall.
The Skeeters will play 14 of their last 20 games at home to finish the regular season. York secured its playoff berth by winning the first half with a record of 40-30.
This week the Skeeters are taking on the pesky New Britain Bees in a four-game set. The Bees, a new team this year, are 22-28 (58-62 overall) but have not caved to the Skeeters. Sugar Land is 6-10 against New Britain so far this season (3-3 at Constellation Field, 3-7 at New Britain Stadium).
The Skeeters finish this home stand against Lancaster on Friday through Sunday and then hit the road for the last time where they will face Somerset and Southern Maryland.
Skeeter of the Week
Newly re-acquired righty Michael Nix is posting an unbelievable 0.81 ERA after tossing five scoreless innings against the Blue Crabs in the team’s 3-0 victory Friday night for his second win in as many outings. The impressive display makes Nix The Fort Bend Star’s Skeeter of the Week.
Barfield blistering the long ball
Outfielder Jeremy Barfield is tied for second in the Atlantic League in home runs (20) after hitting two more over the weekend against Southern Maryland. Barfield is closing in on Koby Clemens for the most home runs by a Skeeter in a single season after Clemens finished with 21 at the end of the 2013 season. Barfield has also hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games, batting .380 (19-50) with 4 home runs, 8 RBIs and 12 runs.
The Skeeters mascot Swatson was named the 2016 Minor League Mascot of the Year by MascotInsider. With over 150,000 votes cast, Swatson totaled 52 percent of the votes beating out Carolina Mudcats’ Muddy the Mudcat, Grand Rapids’ Bucket, Orlando Solar Bears’ Shades, Lake Erie Monster’s Sully and the Chattanooga Lookout’s Looie to take the championship title. The contest included 26 teams from all minor league sports and included two rounds of voting.
“Swatson works extremely hard each year to represent the Skeeters brand at our home games and through numerous appearances in our community,” said Skeeters president Jay Miller. “It’s nice to see him receive recognition from his fans for all his hard work for the Skeeters and the Atlantic League.”
During the season, Swatson can be found in and around Constellation Field entertaining fans young and old. Along with his game day duties, Swatson spends time visiting over 50 schools for the Skeeters Reading Program, holds numerous public appearances in the Fort Bend and Greater Houston area and helps kick things off for little leagues around Texas.
- Wednesday vs. New Britain: 7:05 p.m.: #WinningWednesday
- Thursday vs. New Britain: 7:05 p.m.: Thirsty Thursday/College Night
- Friday vs. Lancaster: 7:05 p.m.: Friday Fireworks/International Night
- Saturday vs. Lancaster: 6:05 p.m.: Salute2Fans Saturday/Postgame Concert (Big Smo)
- Sunday vs. Lancaster: 6:05 p.m.: Bark in the Park
The Skeeters activated Ricky Hague for the weekend and then returned him to the inactive list. He recently returned to finish his college education and will occasionally be available on some weekends.