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Bluefish sweep Skeeters on Opening Night

Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw welcomes Prentice Redman (27) during the Opening Day introduction ceremony.
Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw welcomes Prentice Redman (27) during the Opening Day introduction ceremony.
Courtesy Bridgeport Bluefish

After dropping three out of four games to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in Waldorf, Md., to open the season, and after having their home opener, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, wiped out by torrential rains, the Bridgeport Bluefish finally opened the home portion of their 2014 in grand style by sweeping a doubleheader (9-2, 2-1) against the Sugar Land (Tex.) Skeeters before a disappointing turnout of 1,221 fans at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard on Thursday night. As is the case with all Atlantic League doubleheaders, both games were seven-inning affairs.

In the opening game, the Skeeters scored first when right fielder Dustin Martin drove home second baseman Chase Lambin with a two-out single that staked Sugar Land a 1-0 advantage. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Bluefish came right back in their half of the third when shortstop Juan Martinez drove home center fielder James Simmons with a one-out sacrifice fly to right.

Bridgeport blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth with five runners crossing the plate. The big hit was a bases-loaded triple by Martinez, who drove in four runs in the game. Simmons (3-for-3) scored two runs and had three RBIs. First baseman Luis Lopez went 2-for-4, scoring two runs and driving in one, while catcher J.R. Towles scored two runs while going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.

Recently signed Tomo Ohka, a 10-year MLB veteran who is attempting a comeback with a newly developed knuckleball, picked up the win. The 38-year-old right-hander from Kyoto, Japan, allowed just one run on three hits in four strong innings. Sugar Land starter Matt Wright (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits in four innings.

In Game 2, the Skeeters once again broke out to a 1-0 lead when second baseman Delwyn Young banged a two-out homer off of Bluefish starter D.J. Mitchell in the top of the third.

The Bluefish struck right back in the bottom of the inning when second baseman Mike Richard, who was 2-for-2 for in the nightcap, drove a one-out double to right center. After shortstop Juan Martinez struck out swinging, Richard was driven home on a single by third baseman Sean Burrows. Burrows advanced to second on the throw, but was left stranded left fielder Brandon Boggs popped up to end the inning.

Bridgeport took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Boggs singled with one out, then advanced to second on a 6-3 fielder's choice by DH Prentice Redman. That set the table for the next batter, right fielder Denny Almonte, who drove home Boggs with what would prove to be the game-winning run with an RBI single off of Sugar Land starter Michael Nix, who threw a complete game but was nonetheless tagged with the loss.

Bridgeport southpaw Scott Maine picked up the win after spelling starter D.J.Mitchell in the fifth and throwing one and two-thirds scoreless innings. Winston Abreu earned his second save of the season by putting the Skeeters down one-two-three in the bottom of the seventh.

With the two wins, the 'Fish improved to .500 (3-3) and will open a four-game weekend set with Southern Maryland on Friday night. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., and it will be College Night presented by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Before the game, the 1995 Band—a '90s themed group—will provide musical entertainment. For tickets, click HERE. Fans unable to attend the game can listen to all the action on WGCH, 1490 AM, or by clicking HERE.

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