Bullfrogs drop game one to Woodchucks
BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – With the first half of the Northwoods League (NWL) season ending in one day, the Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball team will get a fresh start on the Fourth of July.
The ‘Frogs (12-23) are ready to put the first 36 games in the rearview mirror after a 7-2 loss to the Wisconsin Woodchucks (11-23) on July 2 at Joannes Stadium.
It was Green Bay’s fourth consecutive loss.
The NWL campaign is broken up into two halves, so even if teams are not in contention come July, the records are wiped out as the “second” season starts.
“I didn’t raise my voice at all, but I told the guys after the game, “There was a Yankees’ scout in the stands tonight … did you earn the right to be a Yankee tonight?,’ said Green Bay manager Kirk Shrider. “We had guys not running hard 90s and some were looping around the base instead of hitting it hard on hits. They know who they are. We all know when we weren’t good today or didn’t quite give our best effort. When these guys were younger and playing whiffle ball in the backyard, I’m sure they competed their butts off because they didn’t want to lose, that’s all it is. If you want to play at the next level, you’ll be asked to play hard for the 140 games you’ll play. It’s not so much about the wins and losses but about the presentation.”
Green Bay got a leadoff triple in their half of the first inning from Matthew Acosta (USC), but three straight outs thereafter stranded him at third.
After the Woodchucks added three runs in the fifth on an RBI groundout and a two-run homer by Javier Valdes, they led 4-0.
The ‘Frogs loaded the bases with nobody out in their half of the fifth but managed just a pair of runs in what they were hoping would have been more.
“At some point, an inning has to end,” Shrider said. “Unless you hit a homer and clear the bases, you’re probably going to leave some guys on base.”
Luke Robinson (Western Carolina) reached on an error before Cooper Morrison (UC Irvine) ripped a single. Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo (Navarro College) laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached first on a throwing error to load the bases. An Alejandro Gonzalez (Hillsborough Community College) sacrifice fly drove in Green Bay’s first run and then Acosta scored Morrison with a single. After a hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases again, a weak groundout ended the frame.
Wisconsin would add a pair of runs in the sixth and a single tally in the ninth to end the scoring.
Acosta had a two-hit night, while Jake Zatopek (Incarnate Word) took the loss on the mound in his five innings of work. Travis Kuhn (San Diego), Elijah Baez (St. Bonaventure) and David Toth (Hillsdale College) also saw action on the hill.
“It will be zero wins and zero losses starting on the fourth,” added Shrider. “It’s a new start for all of us.”
Green Bay will host the ‘Chucks in game two of the series tonight beginning at 6:35.
Wisconsin: 100 032 001 – 7 11 3
Green Bay: 000 020 000 – 2 5 3