By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY-Fortunately for the Bullfrogs, baseball is not a seven but rather a nine-inning game (June 13).
Green Bay scored all eight of their runs in the last two innings and defeated the Rockford Rivets by a final of 8-7.
The Bullfrogs had only five hits for the entire game.
The Rivets gave up eight walks and threw four wild pitches that brought in runs.
Jake Munoz scored two runs, and Eddy Gonzalez and Tate Soderstrom each had two RBI’s.
Tyler Rosas got the win on the mound for the Bullfrogs, and Tanner Probst the loss for the Rivets.
The Rivets got the scoring going in the top of the second.
Cade Bunnell led off with a double to center.
Two batters later Jacob Vander Wal (Central Arizona College) hit a laser down the first base line that went all the way to the fan deck.
It brought Bunnell home and the Rivets took an early 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Green Bay limited the damage to one run after the Bullfrogs Soderstrom made a spectacular catch out of play to strand three for the Rivets.
The Bullfrogs, however, couldn’t get their bats to heat up and thus went relatively quick through their half inning.
The Rivets took a 2-0 lead, in the top of the third, after Vander Wal led off with a 330-foot homer to right field.
The Rivets tacked on two more in the fifth, and one more in the seventh to go up 5-0 after seven innings.
For all intent purposes, the game unequivocally looked over.
“Cain really pitched well for them,” said Kirk Shrider, General Manager of the Bullfrogs. “We generated only two hits on him. However, once you get away from the starters in this league anything can happen.”
Then, with six outs left in their back pocket, the Bullfrogs awakened!
Pinch hitter Joe Vyskocil led off with a walk.
A. Gonzales singled and runners were on the corners.
Jacob Finkbeiner struck out for the first out of the inning.
Munoz then was hit by a pitch, and the bases were suddenly loaded.
After the Rivets got a second out, E. Gonzalez hit a hard blast to center to bring home Collin Luty who was pinch running for Vyskocil.
The fans had waited close to two and a half hours for the first run but there was more to come.
The next batter, Soderstrom, hit a blooper that dropped to the ground in shallow left field and it scored Munoz and A Gonzalez to cut the margin to 5-3.
“I was happy to finally get on the board in the eighth,” said Shrider. “We cut the margin to two runs with one inning left, but give Rockford credit for pushing forward in their last at bat.”
The Rivets seemed undeterred by the mini run the Bullfrogs had.
They went on one themselves in the top of the ninth.
Parker Bates, Braden Mosley, and Bunnell all singled to start the inning.
Bates scored to increase the margin to 6-3.
Then with one out, Vander Wal hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Mosley to put the Rivets up 7-3.
No more damage was done.
That set up the dramatic bottom of the ninth fireworks for the Bullfrogs.
Aguilar was hit by the opening pitch sending him to first.
A wild pitch by Rivets pitcher Nolan Gazouski sent Aguilar to second.
Luty then walked.
One out later, Finkbeiner walked and bases were loaded.
Jake Munoz stepped to the plate and as far-fetched as it sounded was one grand slam away from evening the game up.
He didn’t go quite that far, but he was hit by another errant pitch and it brought home Aguilar from third.
Then the unthinkable happened again.
A second consecutive wild pitch brought home Luty and the Bullfrogs had closed to 7-5.
Pinch hitter Leo Perez and E Gonzalez both walked sending in another run.
The crowd came to life.
After a strike out, the Bullfrogs were down to their last out.
A third wild pitch of the inning sent Munoz to the plate and the score was deadlocked at seven all.
Green Bay was one run away from completing the comeback.
With bases loaded, and Tanner Probst on the mound for the Rivets, the Bullfrogs didn’t even need a base hit to capture the game.
Feeling the pressure, Probst couldn’t keep the ball over the strike zone and sent pinch runner Austin Bates home from third base.
The Bullfrogs players, elated with joy, ran out to first base to celebrate as a team.
“That was one of our bigger wins of the season, if not the biggest,” said Shrider. “This victory was for all of the guys on this team that didn’t give up. They showed their true character tonight. I’m hoping we can carry the momentum now over to Madison where the crowds are big.”
Green Bay improves to 6-10 on the season and will be on the road for a four-game road trip before returning home on June 19.
Rockford 010 120 012- 7 12 0
Green Bay 000 000 035- 8 5 0