By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY-The Green Bay Bullfrogs couldn’t get base runners home and ultimately lost 4-1 to the Rockford Rivets (June 23) Saturday evening at the ‘Jo’.
Blaise Maris (Florida Tech) had two hits and Jake Munoz (San Francisco) scored the lone run for the Bullfrogs.
Cole Bellair got the win for Rockford going six full innings, and Jason Applegate took the loss for Green Bay.
The Bullfrogs jumped on the Rivets in the first inning.
Munoz led off with a single to right field.
Four pitches in, as Maris was ready to take a 2 and 2 count, Munoz stole for second and the subsequent throw was wild sending him to third.
Maris then delivered an RBI with a double to right field scoring Munoz.
It gave the Bullfrogs a 1-0 lead early on.
“I was excited at how we looked early in the game,” said Kirk Shrider, Bullfrogs Head Coach. “Our first few hitters stepped up and gave us some good momentum.”
Applegate remained strong on the mound for the Bullfrogs through the first two innings, but then the Rivets struck in the top of the third.
After a lead off strike out, Pat Loeffler doubled to right field.
That was followed by a single by Hal Hughes.
After Mason Templet walked, the bases were loaded and suddenly the one run lead the Bullfrogs had looked precarious.
Applegate got the second out of the inning with a patented strike out.
However, a wild pitch ensued sending Loeffler in from third base to even the game at one apiece.
Left handed hitter Justin Walker then sent a shallow blooper to left field and the Bullfrogs outfielders couldn’t make a play on the ball sending two more runs home.
The Bullfrogs would get out of the inning with the next batter, but the Rivets held a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, with the Bullfrogs still trailing by two runs, Blake Nelson made a majestic defensive play to end the inning.
Walker (Rivets) hit a high chopper that Nelson somehow scooped up, tagged the runner heading to second, and made the throw to first to end the inning.
He then got the Bullfrogs going on the offensive end in the bottom of the fifth with a lead-off single.
Two outs later, Maris hit a shot down the third base line. The throw was late, and he settled for a base hit.
Two pitches later, Adrian Damla was hit juicing the bases up for the Bullfrogs.
Unfortunately, Tate Soderstrom hit a high pop up to end the inning (stranding three base runners).
The sixth and seventh innings flew by without additional runs being scored.
The bright spot through it all was the Bullfrogs pitching of Kenny Carrillo (Golden West College).
He didn’t give up a hit or run in forty-four total pitches.
“I was happy with how our bullpen pitched tonight,” said Shrider. “They gave up one run in the final five innings.”
In the top of the eighth, the Rivets added a run on a single by Walker that scored Cole.
It gave them a 4-1 cushion after eight innings.
With reliever David Toth retiring the side in the top of the inning, it gave one last hope in the bottom of the ninth for the Bullfrogs.
After a strike out to start, Jacob Finkbeiner and Munoz both walked.
Maris stepped to the plate with the potential there to even the game up with one big shot.
Rivets closer Nolan Gazouski then made a key play in the game.
He threw to first and caught Munoz inching off the bag too far.
The umpire made the out call and one out later, the Bullfrogs fell at home to the Rivets.
“You can’t strand double-digit base runners in a game and expect to win,” said Shrider. “We outhit them and were one up in the error column but were on the wrong side of the scoreboard because of one area.”
The Bullfrogs drop to 9-16 overall and will be back in action tomorrow (1:05) for the last of the home contests with the Rivets.
Green Bay 1,0,0 0,0,0 0,0,0 1
Rockford 0,0,3 0,0,0 0,1,0 4