Bullfrogs Conclude Memorable 2018 Season
Green Bay, WI — The 11th season of the Green Bay Bullfrogs is officially in the books as another great summer has come to a close. The Frogs finished the 2018 campaign at 28-44 overall (12-24 first half, 16-20 second half). Green Bay ended the season as the top defensive team in the Northwoods League, posting a .982 fielding percentage and only committing 45 total errors in 2018.
This summer was the final season at Joannes Stadium for the Bullfrogs as they make the move to Capital Credit Union Park in 2019. Green Bay played their final game at Joannes on August 12 in an 8-3 loss to Wisconsin Rapids in front a season finale crowd of 2,148 fans.
Green Bay welcomed a new field manager this season in Kirk Shrider after spending two seasons as an assistant coach with the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. He played an integral role in the Rafters first NWL Championship in 2016 and also helped lead the franchise to a league record 52-win season in 2017. In addition to his strong coaching background, Shrider also was a professional scout for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1993 to 1995.
Bullfrogs starting right-handed pitcher Leo Perez ended the summer as the most decorated player on the roster. The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi freshman was named the lone Northwoods League All-Star and was selected to participate in the 2018 Major League Dreams Showcase.
Perez developed into the ace of the Green Bay pitching staff, tallying a 5-2 record with a 2.84 ERA through 57 innings of work with 49 strikeouts in 11 starts. Perez’s most notable performance came on July 19 against Battle Creek where he tossed seven shutout innings with just three hits allowed and five strikeouts.
David Toth (Freshman, Hillsdale College) emerged as the top option out of the bullpen. Toth was 2-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 24 relief appearances, posting 42 strikeouts in 36 1/3 frames with four total saves.
Ryan Gowens (Senior, Arizona) led the Bullfrogs pitching staff with 54 strikeouts in 41 innings of work. Gowens had a terrific performance in his last start of the summer at Wisconsin Rapids this past Saturday. Gowens went seven frames allowing one run on four hits with a season-high 11 strikeouts, earning Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night honors.
Cody Norman (Sophomore, Univ. of La Verne) was a strong mid-season addition to the Green Bay pitching staff. Norman went 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 37 innings. Norman posted back-to-back shutout outing on July 17 and 22 in victories over Kenosha and the Wisconsin Woodchucks, including a seven inning scoreless performance against the Kingfish with just two hits allowed. Norman had a season-high five strikeouts in his last start versus Madison on August 9, allowing one earned run through 5 1/3 innings against the top offense in the South Division.
On the offensive side, Blaise Maris (Sophomore, Florida Tech) was the most consistent hitter for the Bullfrogs, playing in 66 of 72 games this season. Maris hit .296 with a team-high 73 hits and 32 RBIs, along with seven doubles, one triple and 32 RBIs. Maris finished with 25 multi-hit games, including one four-hit game (June 25) and another three-hit performance (July 12).
Another day-one Bullfrog Riley Mihalik (Junior, Rider Univ.) played in 60 of 72 contests with 49 hits, team-best 11 doubles, four homers and 32 runs driven in.
Perez, Adrian Damla (Sophomore, UC Irvine) and Preston Pavlica (Junior, Grand Canyon Univ.) each played in the Major League Dreams Showcase after solid seasons on the diamond.
Pavlica played in 36 games for the Bullfrogs, compiling 28 hits, six doubles, one triple, four home runs and 19 RBIs, while leading the teams with 18 stolen bases. Damla had 34 hits in 33 games with six doubles, two triples and 14 runs driven in. Damla ended the season with 11 multi-hit games at the dish.
Despite playing only 16 games, Matthew Acosta (Sophomore, USC) was an offensive force at the plate. Acosta finished with 23 hits, three doubles, one triple, four home runs and 18 RBIs. Acosta posted at least one hit in 13 of 16 games and at least one RBI in nine of them. He had seven multi-hit games, including a pair of four-hit performances with 4-for-6 game with one home run and four RBIs on July 15 versus Lakeshore.
Cooper Morrison (Sophomore, UC Davis) was the almost every day centerfield for the Bullfrogs, playing in 53 games before his summer ended due to injury. Morrison finished with 48 hits, seven doubles, three triples and 19 RBIs with 14 stolen bases.
Blake Nelson (Junior, Michigan) was a solid late-June addition for the Bullfrogs, starting mainly at second and third base. Nelson with 35 hits, three doubles, one triple and 20 RBIs. Keaton Smith (Junior, Nevada) played in just 24 games, but made an impact at the plate. Smith had 20 hits, two doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs.
After a tough first half of the season, the Bullfrogs put together multiple winning performances and thrilling finishes in the second half. Green Bay won six of 8 games from July 13-22 and posted a four-game win streak.
In that span, the Bullfrogs had one of their biggest victories of the season with a 17-6 win over Lakeshore on July 15. The Frogs had 16 hits in the game, including a season-high 12 runs scored in just the sixth inning.
Green Bay had two 14-run victories this summer with a 14-0 win at home versus Battle Creek (June 25) and a 15-1 triumph over Wisconsin Rapids on the road (July 12). In the June 25th game, the Bullfrogs had a season-high 18 hits with 17 hits in the July 12th contest. In all, the Frogs tallied five double-digit run games this season.
The Madison Mallards had the Northwoods League’s longest win streak this season at 12 consecutive victories and the Bullfrogs were the team to end it. Green Bay won 6-4 on June 15 from The Duck Pond at Warner Park in Madison.
The Bullfrogs had the NWL South Division second half champion Kenosha Kingfish’s number this season, finishing 5-3 in the season series. In the final meetings of the season between both teams, Green Bay swept the two-game series at Simmons Field in Kenosha on July 17-18 with 1-0 and 7-3 wins.
Green Bay had three walk-off wins this season with a game-winning walk on June 13 in a 8-7 victory over the Rockford Rivets. A walk-off two-run dinger by Acosta lifted the Bullfrogs to a 6-4 victory on July 13 over Wisconsin Rapids, while Maris scored on a passed ball to beat Madison 3-2 on August 9.