The Sugar Land Skeeters battled back to within one game of the York Revolution in the second-half standings during their three-game series at Constellation field last week, only to run into a buzz saw on the road over the weekend against the Long Island Ducks.
The Ducks lead the Atlantic League in the second half at 35-21 (78-48 overall) and are riding a 10-game win streak. They swept Sugar Land (65-61 overall) in three games, sending the Skeeters on a four-game skid. That comes on the heels of a five-game win streak that saw the Skeeters take two of three from York, including a 12-inning marathon Wednesday night that lasted four hours and 38 minutes, making it the longest game of the season in the Atlantic League.
After Friday’s game was postponed, the Skeeters and Ducks played a doubleheader on Saturday. Sugar Land opened the first game with four runs in the first, but the Ducks came back with six runs. In the second game, the Skeeters trailed 6-1going into the seventh inning of the shortened game, but a four-run rally wasn’t enough to come back.
On Sunday, the Skeeters held a 4-1 lead going into the ninth when the Ducks exploded with seven runs for the walk-off win, including a grand slam.
On a high note for the Skeeters, Denis Phipps has hit 21 home runs this season, which leads the team and is third-most in the Atlantic League this season. He is three shy of his personal record and just six dingers away from tying the Skeeters' home run record of 27 set by Jeremy Barfield in 2016.
The Skeeters placed pitcher Kevin Comer on the seven-day injured list.
The Skeeters are on the road playing the Somerset Patriots for three games, and the New Britain Bees for four games. They return to Constellation Field Sept. 17 for the final homestand of the regular season with three games against the Patriots and three with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The Skeeters will host the first two games of the Freedom Division Championship Series on Sept. 24-25.
Skeeter of the Week
Rico Noel has only played in 47 games this season and has racked up 45 stolen bases, second-most in the league. He leads the Skeeters in that category and is just 10 shy of the team record. The Skeeters lead the league in stolen bases with 188.
Atlantic League Second Half Standings
Wins – Losses – Games back
York Revolution 34-22-0
Sugar Land Skeeters 30-26-4
S. Maryland Blue Crabs 28-29-6.5
Lancaster Barnstormers 22-36-13
Long Island Ducks 35-21-0
New Britain Bees 30-27-5.5
High Point Rockers 28-29-7.5
Somerset Patriots 20-37-15.5
Skeeters 4, Revolution 1
Skeeters 10, Revolution 9
Revolution 10, Skeeters 8
Ducks 6, Skeeters 4
Ducks 6, Skeeters 5
Ducks 8, Skeeters 4