GREEN BAY, WI – Green Bay Bullfrogs’ Owner Jeff Royle announced the signings of Alex Schmarzo, Daniel Torrente and Sam VandenHeuvel to the 2009 squad today.
As Green Bay’s roster nears the halfway point, 12 players have signed so far spanning the country and a total of 10 conferences. The current roster also contains some familiar faces as five Bullfrogs resigned from last year’s team.
“The geographical diversity of players in our league is truly what makes the Northwoods League so special, it really has become a prevalent tradition over the years,” Bullfrogs’ Owner Jeff Royle said. “It (NWL) is the true definition of a competitive collegiate summer baseball league, when speaking in those terms.”
Schmarzo makes his return to a Bullfrogs’ uniform after compiling a 3-2 record and a 3.95 ERA during last summer. Pitching in 41 innings he struck out 42 batters over 21 appearances. His 42 strikeouts was the third most on the team last season behind Chad Blauer and Tim Jolly who resigned with Green Bay earlier this year. Schmarzo marks the third pitcher to return to the Bullfrogs roster.
The 6-foot-3, 185 pounder, is a right-handed thrower on the hill for Saint Mary’s College. The Gaels are 19-13 overall and 3-3 in the West Coast Conference. The Palo Alto, Calif., native has made most of his 15 appearances for Saint Mary’s this season as a reliever. He has accumulated a 4.76 ERA, while striking out 19 batters in 17 innings of work including a save.
Torrente is a native of Miami, Fla., who catches for the Bears of Missouri State. He is the teammate of outfielder Aaron Conway who signed last month with Green Bay. Torrente is a 6-foot, 220-pounder who is batting .222 at the plate along with nine RBI and a pair of homers.
He has started 10-of-17 games played while leading the Bears to a 17-12 overall record and a conference leading 5-0 mark. Missouri State has recorded impressive non-conference victories this season as it took 2-of-3 from then-ranked Oregon State along with a win over No. 17 Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
VandenHeuvel is a 6-foot, 155 pound, infielder-pitcher for the Rhodys of Rhode Island. The true freshman is batting .250 to go along with a RBI and two total bases. He has also made three appearances on the mound striking out a batter. VandenHeuvel will play primarily in the infield for the Bullfrogs. He is the brother of former Bullfrogs pitcher Matt VandenHeuvel who played for Green Bay last season.
Rhode Island is 17-12-1 overall and 7-3 in the A10 Conference. The Rhodys are just one game back of first place in the conference and have three conference-series victories credited to them. They also have three wins over ranked opponents – No. 25 Ohio State, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 8 Miami (Fla.).
“The preseason goal of every manager is for his team to win a championship, that’s why we play the game,” Bullfrogs’ Field Manager Ron Nedset said. “How this season will shake out I couldn’t tell you at this point. But what I can tell you, is that we will be a competitive team that plays hard for nine innings every game and we’ll see where our efforts take us.”