Somerset Patriots (54-39) vs. Sugar Land Skeeters (61-31)
RHP Vince Molesky (3-1, 3.01 ERA) vs. RHP Konner Wade (6-3, 3.97 ERA)
Friday, August 10, 2018 • Constellation Field • 7:05 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters picked up a sweep of of their three-game series at Southern Maryland with a 12-4 win on Thursday night. Alex Wimmers collected the win in relief, allowing one run over three innings, and David Wayne Russo took the loss for the Blue Crabs. Juan Silverio homered and drove in four runs in the victory while Barrett Barnes also homered while driving in two runs.
GOOD LUCK, HAWK!: The Skeeters announced prior to Friday's game that the contract of outfielder Courtney Hawkins was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds, who assigned him to High-A Daytona. Hawkins, 24, has appeared in 88 games this season and and has hit .285/.342/.505 with 54 runs, 17 doubles, 18 home runs, 72 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He currently leads the Atlantic League in RBIs, is second in home runs, fourth in slugging percentage and tied for seventh in runs. Over his last 18 games for the Skeeters, he hit .343 (24-for-70) with 14 runs, four doubles, four home runs and 21 RBIs. He was selected to the 2018 Atlantic League All-Star Game, along with the 2018 Atlantic League Home Run Derby. Hawkins began the 2018 season with Double-A Birmingham before being released by the Chicago White Sox organization on April 18. The White Sox selected Hawkins with the 13th overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Mary Carroll High School (Corpus Christi, Texas). He is the highest-drafted player to ever appear with the Skeeters. He's spent all seven of his seasons at the affiliated level with the White Sox thus far, peaking at Double-A.
“SHOW” TIME: Eleven players from the Skeeters’ 2018 roster have had their contract purchased by Major League organizations: RHP Logan Bawcom (Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Dallas Beeler (Kansas City Royals), LHP Hunter Cervenka (Detroit Tigers), RHP Alejandro Chacin (Cincinnati Reds), RHP Casey Coleman (Chicago Cubs), LHP Matt Gage (New York Mets), OF Courtney Hawkins (Cincinnati Reds), INF Rey Navarro (New York Yankees), RHP Danny Reynolds (Milwaukee Brewers), LHP Paco Rodriguez (Minnesota Twins) and RHP Mitch Talbot (Cleveland Indians).
NEXT LEVEL: The Skeeters’ 11 contracts purchased by Major League Baseball Organizations leads the Atlantic League and is the franchise single-season record, breaking the previous record of nine contracts purchased by MLB teams in 2013. The Skeeters had seven contracts purchased by MLB organizations in the last three seasons combined. Since the Skeeters joined the Atlantic League in 2012, the most contracts purchased by MLB organizations in a single season came from the Somerset Patriots in 2017 (13).
SECOND-HALF STRONG: The Skeeters moved to 20-9 in the second half after Thursday's win and own the best second-half record in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters' 61-31 overall record is the best in the Atlantic League, 7 1/2 games ahead of Somerset (54-39). The Skeeters won the first-half Freedom Division title with a 41-22 record. The Skeeters hold a 5 1/2-game lead over the Lancaster Barnstormers in the second half Freedom Division standings, which matches their largest first-place divisional lead in either half of this season.
THAT'S A WINNING STREAK: The Skeeters are amidst a four-game winning streak, which is the longest active winning streak in the Atlantic League. Over the winning streak, the Skeeters have outscored opponents, 38-7, hitting nine home runs in the process. The Skeeters have also outhit opponents 51-27 and have collected at least 13 hits in three of the four games. Two of the four wins throughout the streak have been shutouts and the Skeeters pitching staff has carried a 1.69 ERA in its last four games.
BARNES BOMBS: Barrett Barnes homered in Thursday's win and has homered in three straight games. The seventh-year pro has set his professional single-season career high with 12 home runs, surpassing his previous high of nine home runs, which he's accomplished twice, with the last time coming in 2016 with Double-A Altoona (PIT). Barnes' 12 home runs place him in a tie for eighth in the Atlantic League and he has hit eight home runs over his last 18 games. Barnes is also in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak and has gone 10-for-22 (.455) with 10 runs, two doubles, four home runs nine RBIs over that span.
SWEEP: The Skeeters picked up their third sweep of the season -- and first on the road -- with their three-game sweep of the Blue Crabs. The Skeeters' last sweep was a seven-game sweep of the Road Warriors from July 13-July 19 at Constellation Field. The Skeeters' first sweep of the season was a six-game sweep of the New Britain Bees from April 27-May 2 at Constellation Field. The Skeeters have gone 9-4 against the Blue Crabs this season, hitting .302/.391/.536 with 22 home runs through 13 games while the pitching staff owns a 3.71 ERA.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters own a 39-11 record at Constellation Field this season, which is the best home record in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have won 12 of their last 14 home games and have hit .291/.373/.428 with 41 home runs through 40 home games this season while the pitching staff owns a 3.99 ERA. The team went on a 12-game home winning streak (June 27-July 19), which is the longest home winning streak in the league this year.
2018 VS. SOMERSET: The Skeeters have gone 3-6 against the Somerset Patriots this season, going 1-2 at Constellation Field and 2-4 at TD Bank Ballpark. The Patriots are the only team in the Atlantic League that the Skeeters have a losing record against. The Skeeters have hit .242/.311/.381 with 11 homers in nine games against the Patriots while the pitching staff owns a 4.07 ERA against Somerset. Denis Phipps has gone 10-for-20 (.500) with a homer and an RBI in six games against Somerset and Albert Cordero has gone 12-for-39 (.308) in nine games.