By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
The Sugar Land Skeeters won five games and lost three last week as they maintained their first place position in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League.
The Skeeters began the week beating Bridgeport 10-1. They then split a four-game series with Somerset before coming home to take two of three from the York Revolution. On Monday they left on a 10-game road trip before returning home on Aug. 5.
BIG WEEKEND ATTENDANCE
The Skeeters’ Big Weekend was a big success as they drew almost 16,500 fans for last weekend’s three games. Friday was the Star of Hope Charity Auction with fireworks after the game. Saturday the Skeeters gave away mini replica bullpen carts and hosted a Pokemon Go event in the outfield. Sunday was Brewfest, which featured a selection of craft beers, and the annual Remote Dig for a chance to win a television.
Troy Dean Conkle, Skeeters’ assistant coach, once was invited to be a part of a Nolan Ryan simulated game. Ryan, like many sports’ superstars, was extremely competitive. Ryan was coming off an injury and a simulated game would show if he was making any progress in recovering from the injury. In the simulated game there were two right handed batters and two left handed batters plus eight defensive players. When Ryan got three outs he would go to the dugout and sit for approximately 10 minutes as if his team was batting. In the seventh inning Conkle tumbled into the bleachers to catch a foul ball. Ryan ran over to him and slapped him on the back while praising his effort.
As they entered the ninth inning it dawned on everyone, Ryan had a no-hitter going. The first batter hit a ground ball down the first base line that the first baseman, a college football player recruited as a warm body to play first base, couldn’t get to. Ryan then proceeded to unleash a string of obscenities at the young man for not giving it his full effort.
Meanwhile the batter, now standing on second base and sensing a potential problem, told Ryan that he thought the ball was foul and they should do it over. Ryan then proceeded to strike out the side and complete his no-hitter. Ryan celebrated with his wife and the Texas Ranger management who were in attendance, while the young football player turned first baseman was relieved to have survived the simulated game.
SKEETER OF THE WEEK
The Fort Bend Star Skeeter of the Week is Beamer Weems for the second week in a row. Weems scored six runs while batting .500 with two doubles and a grand slam home run.
“It felt great getting under that one,” he said. “My teammates did a great job getting on base … It felt awesome.”
Close behind Weems were Jeff Dominguez with a batting average of .414, four doubles and six RBIs, and Delwyn Young with a .406 batting average, 13 hits and 10 RBIs. Roy Merritt pitched 11 innings with a 0.82 earned run average while picking up two saves.