Catcher Blaise Maris had four hits and four RBI, including a two-run homer in the Bullfrogs 14-0 win over Battle Creek June 25 (Rich Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – Blaise Maris (Florida Tech) had four hits, Riley Mihalik (Rider) had his second homer in as many games and the Green Bay Bullfrogs cruised to a 14-0 victory over the Battle Creek Bombers in a Northwoods League game last night at Joannes Stadium.
Starting pitcher Leo Perez (Texas Corpus Christi) also pitched six strong innings to pick up his third victory of the year in Green Bay’s best overall performance of the season.
“I know it’s cliché, but we played solid in all three phases of the game – pitching, hitting and defense,” said Green Bay manager Kirk Shrider. “That’s exactly what I said in the huddle after the game. The pitchers were also happy because after a shutout they get to take batting practice the next day.”
The ‘Frogs (10-17) put up a five-spot in the first inning and then tallied four more in the fourth, two in each of the fifth and seventh innings, and a lone run in the sixth.
The big star of the night offensively was the catcher Maris, who was 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBI, including a two-run dinger in the fourth.
“It definitely felt good to get a win,” said Maris, who is the grandson of former Yankees great Roger Maris. “We came out swinging the bats, our pitchers threw strikes and we played a little defense … it was a nice win. (My home run) was a first-pitch fastball and I just put a good swing on it.”
Maris was equally impressed with Perez on the mound.
“He was on fire and couldn’t miss,” Maris added. “He’s a great pitcher and I love catching for him … it’s a ton of fun. He does what pitchers are supposed to do, and that’s throw strikes. The energy level of the whole team was great tonight.”
Perez didn’t give up a hit until the fourth and allowed just three on the night. He threw 50 strikes in his 76 pitches.
“Leo was really pounding the zone,” Shrider said. “We could have kept him out there longer since he was doing so well, but with such a big lead and it being a long summer, there was no need to. We got a few other guys some work that needed it.”
Elijah Baez (St. Bonaventure), Tyler Rosas (Dixie State) and Travis Kuhn (San Diego) also saw action on the mound.
Mihalik – who hit a towering blast in the ‘Frogs 8-4 loss to Rockford on June 24 – hit another two-run shot in the seventh to close the scoring.
Before Mihalik’s homer on the 24th, Green Bay hadn’t hit a round tripper all season at Joannes, now they have three in the last two games.
Jake Munoz (San Francisco) had three hits and scored three runs, while Blake Nelson (Michigan) had three hits and scored a pair of runs. Rudy Aguilar (St. Johns), Eddy Gonzalez (Incarnate Word) and Adrian Damla (UC Irvine) all had two hits apiece.
The Bullfrogs had 18 hits on the night.
The same two teams will square off in game two of the series tonight in a 7:05 game at Joannes.
“I hope we didn’t use up all our offense in this one,” Shrider joked. “I have seen that a lot in the past … the other team is upset about what happened the night before and they come out with something to prove the next night.”
Battle Creek: 000 000 000 – 0 6 3
Green Bay: 500 412 20X – 14 18 0