The Sugar Land Skeeters open a six-game homestand against the Lancaster Barnstormers at Constellation Field on Tuesday. When they do, they’ll bring with them the best record in the Atlantic League.
The Skeeters (8-2) return home following a road trip that saw them win four of six games against Somerset and Long Island.
The Skeeters are at the top of the Freedom Division standings, one game ahead of Somerset’s Patriots. The Bridgeport Bluefish lead the Liberty Division with a 6-4 record.
Sugar Land has been powered to their great start primarily due to solid pitching from their rotation and relief corps.
The Skeeters open their homestand with a team ERA of 2.50, second only to the 2.37 mark posted by the York Revolution. Sugar Land’s staff has allowed the fewest hits, runs and earned runs in the league and also surrendered fewer home runs than any other team.
The pitching staff’s performance has been supplemented by timely, if not spectacular, hitting from the lineup.
While the team has a combined batting average of .251 through ten games, which is third in the league, they have hit with power better than any other team, posting 14 home runs.
Josh Pressley and Steve Moss are among the early-season league leaders in batting average. Koby Clemens is among the top five home run hitters.
Perhaps the two biggest areas of difference for the Skeeters from the 2012 squad is evidenced in the team’s stolen base total and percentage and their fielding percentage.
The 2012 team did not possess a speed merchant or an abundance of team speed. Led by Adam Godwin’s five steals, his year’s team has begun the season as the second-leading team in number of stolen bases (13) and the overall best stolen base percentage (.929) among the league’s teams.
Likewise, the defense of the 2012 Skeeters was suspect at best and cost them several wins during the season. But after ten games, the 2013 edition leads the league in fielding percentage and fewest number of errors.
The Skeeters open their homestand with an 11:00 a.m. contest on Tuesday against the Barnstormers, the team that finished the 2012 season with the most wins (88) in the Atlantic League. Lancaster is off to a 6-4 start, two games behind the Skeeters in the division. Matt Wright (2-0) is scheduled to start for Sugar Land.
The team will play a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday before taking a rare off-day in the middle of a homestand on Thursday. They will resume the final three games of the series with the Barnstormers on Friday.