The Sugar Land Skeeters began the second half of the season with the confidence of having earned a playoff berth by virtue of winning the first half of the season, but struggled to stay above .500 and have slipped from first to third in the Freedom Division standings.
The Skeeters started last week at home in the middle of a six-game series with Liberty Division first-half champion Long Island Ducks, splitting the series 3-3. After a day off, the Skeeters rolled into Southern Maryland to face the surging Blue Crabs, who have risen from fourth to second in the Freedom Division. The Skeeters took the three-game series 2-1 and are now at the Freedom Division-leading York Revolution for three games, followed by four in North Carolina against the High Point Rockers.
The Skeeters started last week with a 5-4 loss to the Ducks on Monday, followed by a 4-0 win on Tuesday behind seven scoreless innings by pitcher Matt Purke, who celebrated his birthday the next day. The Skeeters closed out the series on Wednesday afternoon with a 9-8 loss in 10 innings.
The Skeeters got things rolling on Friday against the Blue Crabs with Zach Borenstein and Jason Martinson each going yard to lead the team to a 10-7 victory. The Blue Crabs came back on Saturday to pinch the Skeeters 3-0, but the boys from Texas took the rubber game 6-0 on Sunday behind a two-run homer by Denis Phipps, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
The Skeeters signed free agent right-hand pitchers Jeff Ames, Josh Martin, and Rogelio Bernal, and outfielders Wynton Bernard and Rico Noel. The team released outfielder Jared Mitchell and pitcher Christian Bergman.
The Skeeters continue their longest road trip of the season with three games at the York Revolution and wrapping up with four games at the High Point Rockers. They return to Constellation Field on July 29 for a seven-game series with the Lancaster Barnstormers. Aug. 3 will feature a Deacon Jones bobblehead giveaway.
On July 13, fans at Constellation Field were pleasantly surprised to see a dog retrieving bats.
Kovu the Bat Dog was a big hit with fans and will be appearing at Constellation Field:
· Friday, Aug. 2 (7:05 p.m.)
· Saturday, Aug. 3 (6:05 p.m.)
· Friday, Aug. 16 (7:05 p.m.)
· Saturday, Aug. 17 (6:05 p.m.)
· Thursday, Sept. 19 (Bark in the Park) (7:05 p.m.)
· Friday, Sept. 20 (7:05 p.m.)
· Saturday, Sept. 21 (6:05 p.m.)
The Skeeters announced their “Come and Take It” theme for the 2019 Atlantic League postseason. The Skeeters will host the first two games of the Freedom Division Championship Series on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and Wednesday, Sept. 25. Tickets will go on sale to the public starting on Aug. 2 by visiting sugarlandskeeters.com, calling the Skeeters at 281-240-HITS or by visiting the TDECU Ticket Office at Constellation Field.
The Skeeters, winners of the 2018 Atlantic League Championship, chose “Come and Take It” in honor of the Battle of Gonzales, which was the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution on Oct. 2, 1835. The Skeeters will don special-edition uniforms featuring the Skeeters “Come and Take It” logo. If the Skeeters advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series, they would play Game 2 on Oct. 2, the anniversary of Gonzales.
There will be several postseason ticket options and promotions at Constellation Field, paying tribute to the Battle of Gonzales. Fans can purchase all-you-can-eat tickets for the HEB Picnic Plaza for $18.35, as well as purchasing $10.02 field box tickets for Sections 10 and 2 at Constellation Field. Tickets will start going on sale at 10:02 a.m. on Aug. 2. All Skeeters home playoff games will also start at 6:35 p.m. (18:35 military time).
“Texas has a proud history and the timing of the playoffs allows us to be able to honor that past,” said Skeeters President Christopher Hill. “As the defending champions, and champions two of the last three seasons, this is our message to the Atlantic League and a reminder that the title runs through Sugar Land.”
If the Skeeters advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series, they would host Games 3, 4 and 5 at Constellation Field, which would be from Oct. 4-6.
Skeeter of the Week
Matt Purke earns Skeeter of the Week honors for pitching seven scoreless innings against the Long Island Ducks, arguably the toughest team in the league so far this year.
Atlantic League Second Half Standings
Wins – Losses – Games back
York Revolution 8-2-0
S. Maryland Blue Crabs 6-3-1.5
Sugar Land Skeeters 5-4-2.5
Lancaster Barnstormers 2-8-6
Long Island Ducks 5-4-0
High Point Rockers 5-5-.5
Somerset Patriots 5-5-.5
New Britain Bees 2-7-3
Ducks 5, Skeeters 4
Skeeters 4, Ducks 0
Ducks 9, Skeeters 8
Skeeters 10, Blue Crabs 7
Blue Crabs 3, Skeeters 0
Skeeters 6, Blue Crabs 0