BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – As cliché as it sounds, one bad inning cost the Green Bay Bullfrogs a baseball game August 1.
Behind a seven-run sixth inning, the Fond du Lac Dockspiders dropped the ‘Frogs by an 8-0 score on a warm, sunny day at Joannes Stadium in Northwoods League action.
The 11:05 contest was the first of two games with the Dockspiders today, as the two teams will square off in the nightcap at 6:35 in Fond du Lac.
“It’s definitely a long day,” said Green Bay manager Kirk Shrider. “You try and look at it and say the other team has to do it, too, but the reality of the situation is more than that. Not only is today long with the travel, but it’s the days after where it starts to catch up with you.”
Shortly after the mid-day game, the Bullfrogs (23-38 overall, 11-14 second half) will board a bus for the hour-plus drive, play a three-hour game and then head back to Green Bay for some quick rest before heading to Rockford at about 11:00 on Thursday morning.
“The Sundance Channel has back-to-back showings of ‘Groundhog Day’ playing,” Shrider said. “That’s what has been happening here since May 28 – wake up, play a game and go to sleep. The big joke when the guys ask what the day is like, I say, ‘who cares – we have a game at 7:05.’ It’s the same routine every day, but that’s also the part they learn from.”
Fond du Lac (34-26, 13-12) sent 10 batters to the plate in the marathon sixth. They used four hits, a walk and an error to plate its seven runs.
“It was just a case of too many pitches and too many deep counts for (Ryan) Gowens (Arizona),” Shrider added. “He pitched well for my liking – after I went out and talked to him, I told him he needed to pound the strike zone a little bit more with the fastball.”
Gowens gave up five runs on seven hits in his five-plus innings of work. He struck out six but was hampered by five walks. Adam Bunnell (McKendree University) came on in relief and gave up a pair of earned runs on four hits in his four innings.
Preston Pavlica (Grand Canyon University), Andre Antone (UC Irvine), Riley Mihalik (Rider), Keaton Smith (University of Nevada), Alejandro Gonzalez (Waldorf University) and Evan Hylek (Ivy Tech Fort Wayne) each had hits.
The ‘Frogs are next at home Saturday, August 4, when they host Lakeshore in a 6:35 game at Joannes.