Madison, WI – June 29, 2008. The Green Bay Bullfrogs powered their way past the Madison Mallards 14-4 Sunday afternoon at the “Duck Pond,” denying the Mallards bid for their eighth straight victory and dropping their record to 19-10. Even with the loss the Mallards move into a tie for first place in the South Division, because Wisconsin dropped both games of a doubleheader to St. Cloud. The Bullfrogs banged out 15 hits on the day, with three by both Cameron Satterwhite and Rocky Gale. Nick O’Shea was 2-for-5 with a home run, a single, five RBIs and a pair of runs scored. The Mallards offense was paced by the bottom half of the order, which accounted for five of the seven team hits. Eric Nielsen (Purdue) led the team with two hits.
Green Bay jumped all over Nolan Cain (LSU), who was making his season debut on the mound. They scored 11 runs off the right-hander in one-and-two-thirds, giving them an 11-2 lead after two innings of play that was more than enough. It was the first Mallards loss since they dropped an 8-3 contest to Duluth on June 20.
Cain started the first inning off in fine fashion, getting Dwight Tanaka to strike out on a 1-2 pitch. He then walked the next batter before getting another strikeout swinging. Cain allowed the next four batters to reach on a walk and three base hits, before striking out Dillon Bell to end the inning with the Bullfrogs on top 4-0.
As has often been the case this season, the Mallards had an answer in their half of the inning. Aaron Bray (Charlotte) led off with a single and advanced to second when Brandon Wikoff (Illinois) was hit by a pitch. Rob Lyerly (Charlotte) struck out and Phil Gosselin (Virginia) walked, loading the bases on Bullfrogs starter Jason Dovel with one away. All runners moved up 90 feet on a passed ball, with Bray scoring the team’s first run. Luke Stewart (UAB) struck out before newly acquired second baseman Joe Bonadonna (Illinois) singled to left field, driving in Illinois teammate Wikoff. The inning ended with the Bullfrogs lead cut in half to 4-2.
But the Bullfrogs broke it wide open in the top of the second, when they sent 10 to the plate and drove Cain from the game. They blasted a pair of home runs, a three-run shot by O’Shea and two-run bomb by Bell, and drew two walks in the inning. Cain was relieved by Brandon Johnson (Western Carolina) with two outs in the second. Johnson induced a groundout to first to end the inning after seven Bullfrogs runs crossed the plate.
The middle innings went by quietly for both teams, as Johnson allowed two hits in four-and-one-third innings and Dovel cruised through the fifth allowing only two base hits after the Mallards had two in the first. Johnson did allow another Bullfrogs run in the fifth, a first-pitch solo home run by Satterwhite in his first plate appearance after replacing Tanaka.
Johnson was followed out of the Mallards bullpen by Travis High (NC State), who worked the seventh and eighth and allowed just a couple of base hits. In the ninth off Nathan Kafka (Minnesota State) the Bullfrogs plated a couple more to take a 14-2 lead into the final frame. David Casey moved from first base to the mound for the bottom of the ninth to finish the game. He walked Bonadonna to start the inning and threw the ball into center field on a grounder right back to him by Josh Groves (UW-Milwaukee) to put two Mallards on with nobody out.
After a pair of singles by Drew Martin (NC State) and Nielsen that scored Bonadonna and Groves, he settled down and got two groundouts to short to end the game and the Mallard eight-game winning streak. Wikoff was hitless on the night, ending his 10-game hitting streak.
The Mallards now hit the road for a 10-game in 11-day road trip, starting tomorrow in Mankato. After two in Mankato they will conclude the first half with two in Battle Creek on Wednesday and Thursday. The team will next play in the familiar surroundings of the “Duck Pond” on Friday, July 11 against Wisconsin.