Skeeters win! Sugar Land advances to championship series
Compiled by Joe Southern
The Sugar Land Skeeters won a dramatic 10-inning game 8-6 Friday night to give them a sweep of the York Revolution in the Atlantic League Freedom Division Series and advancing them to the championship series for the second time in three years.
“I’d like to say that I’m extremely proud of my team and how they have fought really hard to get to this place and they are totally deserving of this accomplishment,” Manager Gary Gaetti said. “We have had many ups and downs but have stayed positive and pulled together through it all. They have exhibited an excellent team spirit and real professionalism in their trade and have represented the Atlantic League and the City of Sugar Land in an outstanding manner.
“Although we have accomplished much, we know that we still have more work to do, and a very tough opponent to face in the Long Island Ducks for the title of champions of the Atlantic League. I believe that we are healthy and ready for the task and if we play good fundamental baseball and play it to our potential, then we will bring the trophy to Sugar Land for our first of many championship titles,” Gaetti said.
The Skeeters will host Liberty Division champion Long Island Ducks Tuesday and Wednesday before travelling to Long Island for the remainder of the series. The games start at 7:05 p.m. at Constellation Field. Tickets can be purchased by calling the TDECU Ticket Office at 281-240-4487, visiting the ticket office at Constellation Field or online at ticketreturn.com.
In the team’s five-year history the Skeeters have made the playoffs three times. The Somerset Patriots swept them in the 2013 divisional series. In 2014, the Skeeters beat York for the division but were swept in the championship series by the Lancaster Barnstormers.
Game 3 – The Skeeters struck first in the top of the second with a solo shot from Lance Zawadzki., York responded in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run shot from Bryan Pounds, bringing Andres Perez across the plate and giving York a 2-1 lead over the Skeeters going into the fifth. Following walks from Juan Martinez and Josh Prince in the top of the fifth, an error by catcher Isaias Tejeda allowed Martinez to advance to third. Rene Tosoni then reached first on a fielder’s choice, bringing Martinez across the plate to tie the game up 2-2.
The Skeeters surged ahead in the top of the sixth following a two-out grand slam from Prince, giving the Skeeters a 6-2 lead over York. York promptly cut the Skeeters’ lead to two runs with a two-run shot from Kevin Rivers in the bottom of the sixth.
The Skeeters maintained a 6-4 lead until the bottom of the ninth, with Joel Guzman’s bases-loaded single to left field scored Michael Rockett and Josh Wilson, tying the game 6-6 and forcing extra innings.
The top of the tenth brought in two more runs for the Skeeters, with a bases-loaded walk to Prince scoring Wilfredo Rodriguez and a wild pitch to Tosoni bringing Jeff Dominguez across the plate, giving the Skeeters an 8-6 lead that would ultimately lead to a third consecutive win over York and advancement to the Atlantic League Championship Series. Ryan Mattheus earned his third win and Mike DeMark his first loss.
Game 2 – The Sugar Land Skeeters defeated York Revolution 10-9 in Game 2 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Atlantic League Freedom Division Series. The Skeeters will hit the road to face York in an elimination game on Friday.
The Revolution offense showed out early as they quickly got out to a 7-0 lead that began with Kevin Rivers’ two-run single in the 1st. Andres Perez pushed five more runs across with a grand slam in the 2nd and an RBI single in the 4th.
The Skeeters charged back with a huge eight run 5th inning that began with Josh Prince’ two-run single. Rene Tosoni added a run with a sac-fly RBI that cut the deficit to 7-3 with two outs. The Skeeter continued to rally as Travis Scott followed Tosoni up with a double down the first base line that plated two more runs. Scott would later score on an error by Revolution third baseman Bryan Pounds that made it 7-6. Wilfredo Rodriguez tied it back up with an RBI single and the Skeeters then took an 8-7 lead on an RBI single from Jeff Dominguez.
Bryan Pounds made up for his error with a two-run homer in the 7th that put the Revolution back up 9-8. The Skeeters wouldn’t go away though as Rene Tosoni’s two-run dinger in the 8th gave Sugar Land a 10-9 lead. Derrick Loop picked up his 2nd save of the series after a short umpire review on Brandon Chaves’ slide that helped break up a double play. Chaves’ slide was ruled legal and both teams resumed play. Loop got Bryan Pounds to fly out to right for the final out of the game.
Game 1 – The Sugar Land Skeeters defeated York Revolution 7-5 in Game 1 of the Atlantic League Freedom Division Series on Tuesday night.
With the victory, the Skeeters are now 4-0 against York in postseason play, having swept them in the 2014 divisional series.
The Revolution took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd on Travis Witherspoon’s RBI single. Rene Tosoni tied it back up in the bottom of the 3rd with a sacrifice fly that scored Juan Martinez. Wilfredo Rodriguez put the Skeeters on top in the 4th with a two-run homer that made it 3-1.
Kevin Rivers cut the deficit to 3-2 with his solo homer in the 5th. Delwyn Young responded in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single that scored Jeremy Barfield to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
The Revolution went back up 5-4 with Travis Witherspoon’s RBI single and Kevin Rivers’ two-run single. With two outs in the 7th, the Skeeters took a 6-5 lead after a throwing error by Revolution third baseman Bryan Pounds allowed two runs to score. Juan Martinez tacked on an insurance run with a solo shot in the 8th. Derrick Loop ran into some trouble but managed to get Michael Rockett to ground into a double play to record his 1st save of the postseason.