BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball team was two outs away from a victory, but a ninth-inning homer by Kalamazoo’s Baron Radcliff helped the Growlers turn back the ‘Frogs 9-6 in 11 innings in Northwoods League action on June 19 at Joannes Stadium.
Green Bay had taken a 6-3 lead into the ninth, but with runners on first and second with one out, Radcliff hit a monster shot to dead center to knot the game at six. Kalamazoo would go on to score three runs in the 11th to secure the victory.
It was the Growlers’ (15-6) seventh consecutive win, while the ‘Frogs (7-14) dropped their third straight game.
Green Bay was happy to be back home in the friendly confines of Joannes, where they will play six of their next seven games. They returned home after a four-game road trip in which they finished 1-3.
The Bullfrogs entered the game hitting just .217 as a team and losers of their last two games by a combined 11-0 margin.
Their consecutive innings streak without scoring had reached 23 until Blaise Maris (Florida Tech) knocked in two runners with a two-out single in the fifth to give the ‘Frogs a 2-1 lead. Alejandro Gonzalez (Hillsborough Community College) scored the third run of the inning on a balk.
Green Bay extended the lead to 5-1 the next inning on a pair of Kalamazoo errors, in which Cooper Morrison (UC-Davis) and Rudy Aguilar (St. Johns) scored.
The Growlers added single tallies in the seventh and eighth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but the Bullfrogs bumped the lead back to three in the bottom of the eighth when Riley Mihalik (Rider) scored on a fielder’s choice.
Green Bay reliever Travis Kuhn (San Diego) took the loss, dropping to 0-2 on the season. Tyler Rosas (Dixie State) surrendered the lead in the ninth, while Jake Zatopek started on the mound and didn’t allow an earned run, but walked seven in his 4.2 innings of work.
Ironically, Kalamazoo didn’t get its first hit of the game until the seventh.
Maris had two hits for the ‘Frogs, while Morrison, Aguilar and Gonzalez had the others.
After beginning the season with 20 games in 20 days, Green Bay enjoyed an off day on Monday, June 19.
The team plays its 72 games in approximately 75 days, so oftentimes when there’s an off day, the players and coaches will get away and not think about baseball for a day.
The Bullfrogs will once again host the Growlers in another 7:05 game at Joannes.
Kalamazoo: 001 000 113 03 – 9 7 4
Green Bay: 000 032 011 11 – 6 5 3