Bullfrogs 2017 Season In Review
Green Bay, Wis. – The 2017 season for the Green Bay Bullfrogs came to an end at Joannes Stadium on Sunday, August 13th with two loses to the Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders. The Bullfrogs rallied in the final innings but would fall two runs short. Despite missing the playoffs, the Bullfrogs capped the season with impressive and very lively crowds. The Bullfrogs finished the season with a 23-49 record.
One of the highlights of the season was welcoming former Major League All-Star, Chris Sabo as the new Field Manager of the Bullfrogs. Sabo played nine Major League Baseball seasons with four different teams in the late 1980s and early 90s. He was a three-time All-star and the 1988 Rookie of the Year. On top of that, he won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990. It was very exciting having that kind of talent and knowledge of the game in Green Bay this season. Day after day Sabo brought an electric feel to Joannes.
For the fourth straight year, the Bullfrogs saw attendance at Joannes Stadium increase, finishing at 1,403 fans per game. In total, 18 games were sold out, which was one more than in 2016. This increase in attendance was fueled by the last three games of the season. Thanks to near perfect weather in a season full of rain, the Bullfrogs set a franchise record for attendance in a three game span, totaling 6,041 fans. This beat the previous mark of 6,025 fans set back in 2015. Facebook ticket promotions was the hot topic for fans this summer. The Bullfrogs released over 10 ticket specials that included various merchandise and food item combinations. Due to some of these unique pairings, online ticket purchasing increased by 19%.
The Bullfrogs experienced a roller coaster of a season in 2017. With a slow start to the season, the Bullfrogs would start to find their stride with mid-season additions of outfielders Alonzo Jones (Vanderbilt) and Tanner Poole (Mississippi State). Jones brought speed and consistency that was needed in the outfield. Not only was Jones a defensive difference maker, he was a leader on the offensive side. Jones led the Bullfrogs with a .311 average over 103 at bats. He also found his way near the top of the Bullfrogs stat board in OPS, runs, triples and slugging.
The Bullfrogs pitching staff was led by Connor Wollersheim (Kent State). Wollersheim started off his season very hot, getting three wins in his first three starts. He would then go on to post multiple no decision starts. Wollersheim ended the season with a 4-3 record and a 2.44 ERA over 55.1 innings pitched. That mark would only be bested by relief pitcher Darren Kelly (Alabama State). Wollersheim closed out the season with 56 strikeouts, the most by any Bullfrog this season.
A mid-season addition to the pitching staff that turned out to be very beneficial for the Frogs was Ethan Evanko (Grand Canyon University). Evanko would be the relief arm to turn to. In ten appearances this season, Evanko led the team in WHIP (.72) and BAA (.171).
Bullfrogs All-Stars – Brad Hamilton (Kent State) was selected to represent the Bullfrogs in the 2017 NWL All-Star Game in Wausau. Unfortunately, Hamilton did not get to play in the game due to an injury before the All-Star break, an injury that would end the season for him. Hamilton was the do-it-all man for the Frogs through the first half of the season. He recorded starts as an outfielder, infielder, catcher, and designate hitter. In his 24 starts on the season he recorded 28 hits, one HR, 10 RBIs with a .315 batting average and .970 fielding percentage.
Home Run Derby– Kyle Benyo (Youngstown State) represented the Bullfrogs in the 2017 NWL Home Run Derby. Benyo led the team with six home runs and 13 doubles. On the season Benyo hit .251 with 42 hits, 23 runs and 23 RBIs.
Statistical Leaders (Hitting) – AVG: A. Jones (.311) || HR: K. Benyo (6) || RBI: T. Johnston (37) || SB: A. Pleschner (16) || Hits: T. Johnston (73) || Runs: B. Hart (33) || Doubles: K. Benyo (13) || Triples: B. Hart (3), A. Jones (3) || BB: B. Hart (38), A. Pener (38) || HBP: R. Smith (5), A. Pener (5) || OBP: A. Pener (.451) || SLUG: A. Jones (.466) || OPS: A. Jones (.909)
Statistical Leaders (Pitching) – Wins: C. Wollersheim (4) || IP: J. Tobey (61.2) || ERA: D. Kelly (1.96) || SO: C. Wollersheim (56) || SV: D. Kelly (4) || WHIP: E. Evanko (.72) || BAA: E. Evanko (.171) || BB/9: E. Evanko (.931) || K/9: N. Ohanian (14.344)