The Pulaski High School choir sings the National Anthem before the Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball game June 1 at Johannes Stadium (Rich Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Bullfrogs had plenty of hits and base runners, but couldn’t pull through in a 5-3 loss to the Madison Mallards June 1 at Joannes Stadium in Northwoods League action.
The Bullfrogs outhit the Mallards 11-6, but eight walks by the pitching staff didn’t help matters in a game that was played with a steady wind blowing in from center field.
Green Bay also left 13 runners stranded during the game.
“I thought we swung the bats well,” said Bullfrogs manager Kirk Shrider. “We had a couple of key hits but not enough to get the victory. A few two-out walks (by our pitchers) came back to haunt us. We’ve talked about that as a coaching staff … some of it is wanting to impress and they probably have a little too much adrenaline out there on the mound. Some of the guys haven’t pitched in a while, either.”
Madison pushed across two runs in the fifth after two were out with the help of a walk and two hits. They also scored single tallies in the second, eighth and ninth innings to make the most of their limited hits.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the ‘Frogs took a 2-1 lead on a Leo Perez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) two-run double that drove in Jensen Hinton (UW-Oshkosh) and Blaise Maris (Florida Tech).
Hinton had been hit by a pitch and Maris singled.
With the Mallards leading 3-2 in the fifth, the first two Green Bay batters were retired before Perez, Riley Mihalik (Rider) and Eddy Gonzalez (Incarnate Word) ripped consecutive singles. The Bullfrogs could have tied the game, but Perez was thrown out by 10 feet at the plate trying to score on the Gonzalez hit on a perfect throw from Madison’s David Vinsky from right field.
“There were two outs in the inning and it was one of those situations where it would take a good throw to get him,” Shrider added. “In all honesty we are trying to get guys to be aggressive running the bases. I had relayed before that hit that we would try to score on the play. There were plenty of other situations to win the game at other times.”
Rudy Aguilar – who led off the sixth with a walk – scored on a two-out single by Maris to tie the game at three, but that’s as close as Green Bay got the rest of the way.
As a manager of a team in a developmental league, Shrider pointed out that there’s a fine line between wanting to win a game and giving guys a chance to show what they can do.
“There are some kids that have come here that might not be here the whole summer,” Shrider noted. “The competitive juices get flowing and you want to win, but we still realize this is a developmental league … we are trying to teach life lessons as well. They have committed their time to be here this summer … if I want something from the guys, it’s give and take. Some of the moves I make during a game are beneficial and sometimes they don’t work.”
Maris, Perez, Mihalik and Gonzalez all had two hits for ‘Frogs, who entered the game hitting just .206 as a team.
Colby Morris (Middlebury College) started on the mound for Green Bay and went 4.2 innings, giving up two earned runs while allowing just two hits. The 6-foot-2 righty was hampered by four walks and a wild pitch.
David Toth (Hillsdale College) relieved and wound up taking the loss.
The ‘Frogs return to action June 2 with an away game at Wisconsin Rapids, before returning home for three straight beginning Sunday against the same Rapids team at 1:05.
Madison: 010 020 011 – 5 6 0
Green Bay: 002 001 000 – 3 11 1