April 21, 2017 - Atlantic League (AtL) - Bridgeport Bluefish
Sugar Land, TX-- The Bridgeport Bluefish (0-1) were defeated by the Sugar Land Skeeters (1-0) 5-2 at Constellation Field on Thursday evening as Bridgeport kicked off their 20th Anniversary Celebration season in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Prior to the matchup the boys from the Lone Star State received their 2016 Championship rings and raised the Championship Flag over the wall in right centerfield.
Bridgeport Starting Pitcher Cory Riordan (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings of work, walking one and striking out four while surrendering two wild pitches and a home run. Sugar Land Starting Pitcher Jake Hale (1-0) earned the win, giving up just one run on two hits in six innings of work, walking and striking out two and giving up a home run. Felipe Paulino struck out three batters in a scoreless ninth inning and issued a free pass and tossed two wild pitches to earn his first save in 2017.
Sugar Land got on the board in the home half of the first inning against Riordan on a two-out, three-run home run to left field off the bat of Max Ramirez who was making his Skeeters debut, and in the blink of an eye the champs took a 3-0 advantage. Riordan almost came out of the frame unscathed when he induced Andy Wilkins to fly out to left field with the runners at the corners not advancing, and was two-thirds of the way out of a big jam, but Ramirez had other plans as he brought the Texas faithful to their feet. Bridgeport got to within 3-1 in the top of the third when newcomer Ozney Guillen blasted a solo shot to right off Hale in his first ever plate appearance as a member of the Bluefish, but the veteran right hander would settle in after the long ball, retiring the final ten batters he faced.
The Skeeters bats were not finished as they doubled what was already a two-run cushion in the bottom half of the fifth inning against Reardon as a two-out, two-run single to the right side by Wilkins brought home Lance Zawadski and Jeremy Barfield to make it 5-1, after they singled and doubled respectively in consecutive at-bats when the bases were empty. All five Sugar Land runs crossed the plate with two men out in the ballgame. The Bluefish cut the deficit to 5-2 in the top of the eighth as D'Arby Myers drove home Jose Cuevas with a run-scoring base knock after Cuevas doubled with one out, but that was as close as Bridgeport would get as the fell to 14-38 all-time at Constellation Field since it first opened its doors to the Sugar Land faithful back in 2012. Myers, Guillen, Cuevas, and Tony Abreu each had one of the four hits registered on the night for the Bluefish.
Bridgeport returns home for the first time in the 2017 regular season following their seven game road trip on Friday, April 28th when they host the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. First pitch on Opening Day is scheduled for 4:05. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive schedule posters presented by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. CLICK HERE for tickets.