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York drops Atlantic League playoff opener to Sugar Land

STAFF REPORT
  • York lost Game 1 of the best-of-five Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series to Sugar Land, 7-5.
  • Sugar Land scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead.
  • Kevin Rivers drove in three of York's run, including a two-run single in the top of the sixth.

The York Revolution made a habit of picking up come-from-behind victories during the regular season.

York's James Simmons couldn't get out of the fifth inning of Tuesday night's Game 1 of the Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series against Sugar Land. The Revs dropped the game, 7-5, and trail the best-of-five series, 1-0.

There were 44 of them, to be exact.

Tuesday night, in Game 1 of the 2016 Atlantic League Freedom Division Championship Series in Sugar Land, York came from behind once in the contest. Unfortunately, it needed a second rally to earn the win. After storming back to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning with three runs, the Sugar Land Skeeters answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to regain a 6-5 lead. Sugar Land went on to a 7-5 victory, giving it a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Scott Rice came on as a reliever in the bottom of the seventh and worked himself into a jam, putting the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with two outs. He was lifted for Jose Arredondo, who produced a slow grounder to third base, but a slightly off-line throw by Bryan Pounds forced first baseman Kevin Rivers to stretch far to his right, and he couldn't come up with the ball, allowing the two runs to score and putting the Skeeters ahead, 6-5.

Sugar Land added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo homer by Juan Martinez. The Revs went quietly in the ninth.

York opened the game's scoring with a run in the top of the second on a two-out single by Travis Witherspoon, bringing in Josh Wilson. The Skeeters responded in the bottom of the third off of Revs' starter James Simmons to level the score at 1-1 and then added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.

York answered with a run of its own in the top of the fifth to get back to within one, this time with Rivers belting a solo homer. But, Simmons couldn't provide the Revs with a shutdown inning in the bottom half of the frame, allowing another run to score to give Sugar Land a 4-2 lead. Simmons was ultimately lifted with two outs in the inning.

York's comeback magic made an appearance in the top of the sixth. The Revs scored three times in the inning to take a 5-4 lead. Jared Mitchell started the rally with an RBI single, scoring Wilson to make it a 4-3 game. Rivers then delivered another big hit, this time driving home two runs on a single to give the Revs the one-run lead.

The lead would only last until the bottom of the seventh when the Skeeters got the edge back for good.

Rice ended up taking the loss, credited with giving up the two unearned runs. Simmons allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings on seven hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.

Rivers drove in three of the Revs' five runs, going 2 for 4. York's Joel Guzman went 2 for 4 as well. The Revs finished with 10 hits. The only Revs players not record a hit was Andres Perez.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Wednesday at Constellation Field.