Skeeters Strive for Title

The Sugar Land Skeeters’ historic run came to an end Friday, October 3rd, as they dropped the decisive third game in a best-of-five series to the Lancaster Barnstormers, ending a season filled with new faces, new surprises, and new goals.

The Wrangler had the opportunity to sit with Assistant Coach David McDaniel, who after serving as a special assistant and instructor with the Skeeters last year, was hired to his current post during the offseason. McDaniel gave The Wrangler insight to the Skeeters’ season and how the players reacted through the highs and lows of the season.

The Skeeters are an independent professional baseball team playing in the Atlantic League, which also includes many teams in the northeast United States. The Skeeters play other teams in the league so “it involves a lot of travel,” McDaniel said. “You get used to spending weeks at a time up there since we’re the only team that’s not up there. We usually play a series against two or three teams and then come back home.” Due to the proximity of the team to the others in the league, the season consists of plenty of traveling.

Constellation Field, the home of the Skeeters, was the site of the 2014 Atlantic League All-Star Game. The festivities included an All-Star Fest, complete with an appearance by Kevin Fowler and a Fan Fest around the stadium. The game featured All-Stars from all other teams in the Atlantic League matched up against the Skeeters, ending with the home team as the victors.

The All-Star Game was only the beginning of the historic season. The team finished the season first in their division, earning a birth in the Freedom Division Series, the winner to advance to the Atlantic League Championship Series. With division rival York Revolution standing in their way, the Skeeters forced a game five after going down two games to one and clinched their way in the championship. Unfortunately the Skeeters lost three straight games to the Lancaster Barnstormers. McDaniel credits a lot of the success to the fans, “the community really rallied around the team, you could tell they wanted us to succeed and win the whole thing.”

The players, many of whom are not from here and stay with host families in the surrounding Sugar Land area, will now return back to their families, wives, fiancés, and parents for the winter, ready to return and try to repeat the success of last season, and possibly, just maybe, win it all.