BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – All losses are tough, but this one was especially difficult for the Green Bay Bullfrogs in the way it happened.
The ‘Frogs watched a three-run lead disappear late in a 7-6 loss to the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders July 8 in a Northwoods League baseball game at Joannes Stadium.
After Green Bay (13-28 overall, 1-4 second half) had taken a 6-3 lead in the sixth by scoring four runs, Fond du Lac (23-17, 2-3) scored four runs of its own in the eighth to win the first game of the two-game series.
The ‘Frogs are 1-9 in their last 10 games.
“That was pretty much the name of the game,” said Green Bay manager Kirk Shrider. “In their four-run eighth, (Fond du Lac) didn’t hit a ball hard the whole inning; but like I told the guys after the game, we were chasing runs late in the game that we shouldn’t have had to because of the way we played earlier in the game. We had a couple of mental errors that led to unearned runs. Realistically, it could have been 6-1 late in the game.”
In the ‘Frogs big sixth inning, they used three walks, a pair of hit batters, one error and one hit in sending 10 batters to the dish.
Alejandro Gonzalez (Hillsborough College), Matthew Acosta (USC) and Adrian Damla (UC Irvine) had RBI’s in the frame, but Green Bay missed out on blowing the game wide open by leaving the bases loaded.
“After we got our four runs and took a nice lead, then we had two poor at-bats to strand the bases loaded,” added Shrider. “At the time, you probably don’t think too much of it because we had a nice lead, but when you look back at the situation, we had a chance to put the game away right there … it was frustrating.”
The Bullfrogs scored a pair of runs in the fifth to tie the game at two.
After the first batters got out, Gonzalez and Esteban Cardoza-Oqendoo (Navarro College) reached on singles. Acosta, Blaise Maris (Florida Tech) and Damla then all reached via walks to plate the two runs the easy way.
Gonzalez had three hits on the day, raising his batting average to .281.
Maris and Damla both reached base three times with walks.
Green Bay starting pitcher Jake Zatopek (Incarnate Word) was very effective on the mound in his five innings of work, giving up just one earned run on only three hits. He struck out two, but hurt himself with five walks.
Jason Applegate (Villanova) and losing pitcher Cody Norman (University of La Verne) also saw action in the game.
The two teams will be back in action Monday night at Joannes in a 7:05 game to conclude the series.
Fond du Lac: 000 111 040 – 7 10 1
Green Bay: 000 024 000 – 6 7 2