Sugar Land Skeeters drop 2011 Atlantic League Champs York, 3-1
By Robert H Kelly
The Sugar Land Skeeters won their second game in a row on Saturday night by defeating the 2011 Atlantic League champion York Revolution 3-1 in front of 7,727 fans at Constellation Field in Sugar Land
The Skeeters got on the scoreboard in the first inning off a single by second baseman Alex Cintron; scoring center fielder Bubba Bell from third to make the score 1-0.
The Revolution tied the score in the fourth inning when right fielder Michael Hernandez tagged a 0-1 pitch down the right field foul line; rolling all the way to the wall for a stand up double.
Third baseman Ramon Castro scored easily from second off Hernandez’ double to tie the score at one-all.
The Skeeters got right back on the board to taka two-run lead in the fifth inning on a Colt Morton double; scoring Drew Locke from second.
Morton then advance to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Deybis Benitez.
The Skeeters sent former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Liriano to take over for starter Bobby Livingston after the fifth. Livingston pitched five innings and had two strikeouts, giving up one run.
Sugar Land hit two singles in the seventh; Morton and third baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand, but neither was able to score.
After pitching 2.2 innings of relief, Skeeters’ manager Gary Gaetti made a trip to the mount in the eighth inning to tell Liriano he was done for the night.
He called in right-handed relief pitcher Michael Nix to face former York teammate Ramon Castro.
Nix quickly dispatched Castro on six pitches; striking him out to end the inning.
The Revolution countered with a pitching change of their over in the eighth, sending right-handed pitcher Stephen Penny to face the top of the Skeeters’ order.
He quickly got two outs, Bubba Bell and Alex Cintron, before Jason Botts knocked the ball down the left field line for a single.
Josh Pressley then came to the plate, taking five pitches before being called out on a checked swing on an appeal by York catcher Salvador Paniagua.
This quickly brought manager Gary Gaetti to the plate for a short, but civil discussion with umpire Pat McLaughlin.
Pressley, who flipped his batting helmet to the home dugout, was clearly upset with the call.
York made one final attempt in the ninth when designated hitter Andres Perez walked, bringing left fielder James Snakes to the plate.
Shanks connected on the first pitch to fly out to Morton in center field to end the game.
The Skeeters finished with three runs on eight hits with one error to go to 2-1 on the young season.
The Revolution scored a single run on four hits to drop to 1-2 for 2012.
Livingston was credited the win while Cody Chris was given the loss.
In other action around the Atlantic League, the Bridgeport Bluefish downed the Camden Riversharks 4-1, Lancaster beat Southern Maryland 3-2 while the Somerset patriots put on a hitting display; destroying the Long Island Ducks 14-3.
The Skeeters will face the Revolution in the final game of opening weekend with a 4:05 p.m. start on Sunday.
Readers can view the box score by clicking here.