BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – One bad inning cost the Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball team a game today.
A seven-run second inning by Rockford (15-11) was all the Rivets needed in an 8-4 win over the Bullfrogs (9-17) at Joannes Stadium in Northwoods League action.
Rockford used seven walks, a wild pitch, a passed ball and two hits to plate their seven runs. In all, they sent 11 batters to the plate in their half of the second.
“One inning got us today,” said Bullfrogs manager Kirk Shrider. “Other than that one inning, I thought we played pretty well. We outhit them (10-6), but that doesn’t always translate into runs.”
McKinley Moore (Arkansas – Little Rock) got his first start on the mound for Green Bay. After a fairly smooth first inning, the big righty had his troubles in the second, where he threw over 40 pitches.
“We were saying in the first that if McKinley would throw the ball like he did there, they wouldn’t touch him,” Shrider said. “All of sudden it was like … not sure if it was nerves or expectations, but the strike zone was a little tight as well. I won’t blame that, but if a pitcher likes to pitch a certain side of the plate and he’s not getting the call, it’s going to be tough to be successful.”
Ben Keizer (University of Michigan) came in after Moore departed in the second and threw well, giving up just one hit in his 2.2 innings of work. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Justin Bureau (Ave Maria University), Zach Autin (Nicholls State) and David Toth (Hillsdale College) also saw action on the mound.
The four relievers combined to give up just five hits and one run in their 7.2 innings.
“It would have been nice if we could have kept Keizer out there a little bit longer,” noted Shrider. “I think he threw 33 pitches, but he hadn’t pitched in a while. I think he only came to us pitching like eight or nine innings (in college) this year, so we wanted to work him in slowly.”
Eddy Gonzalez (Incarnate Word) had three hits in four at bats, while Riley Mihalik (Rider) and Rudy Aguilar (St. Johns) had two apiece.
One of Mihalik’s hits was a two-run blast to right field in the third … the first home run by the Bullfrogs this year at home.
“Riley has been swinging a good bat here lately,” added Shrider. “That ball was crushed. That was a round ball hitting a round bat, square. As soon as it was hit I said ‘that’s out of here.’”
Green Bay tried to make a game of it late, but it was too little too late.
The Bullfrogs loaded the bases in the eighth with no outs, but managed just two runs on consecutive ground-ball outs to make it a four-run game.
In the ninth they had the tying run on deck, but a Mihalik line drive to the second baseman with one out turned into a double play to end the game.
The ‘Frogs are back at home Monday when they host Battle Creek at 6:35 in the first of a two-game series.
Rockford: 070 000 010 – 8 6 1
Green Bay: 002 000 020 – 4 10 2