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Chucks Can’t Get Going in Loss to Bullfrogs

 

Wisconsin Tallies Just Three Hits as Green Bay Earns Season Series Split

Wausau, Wis. – It’s sometimes tough to win baseball games when you put up 23 hits. It’s much tougher to win baseball games when you put up three. The Wisconsin Woodchucks (24-40; 9-20) learned that lesson the hard way Friday night in Wausau in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Bullfrogs (21-41; 9-18). The Chucks have still not been shut out in a nine-inning game this year, but the three-hit output ties a season-low.

Luke Hall was the first man out for the Woodchucks in his first game since beginning the rain-continued game against Rockford last weekend. He allowed two baserunners in the first got out unscathed, but things feel apart for him in the second. Ben Chally and Willie Bourbon both drew full-count walks before Zach Plunkett placed a double into left field to score Chally. The next man, Connor Bagnieski, plastered a single past Hunter Coleman’s glove at first base to bring home two more and stake Green Bay to a 3-0 lead.

Mason Schwellenbach wasn’t always efficient, but he was nearly always effective in his first start of the year for the Frogs before the Chucks finally got to him in the fifth. Nolan Ryan and Caeden Harris both walked and Logan Foster singled to load the bases with two away, and Trey Dawson stepped in and fouled off five two-strike pitches to ultimately win a marathon at-bat against Schwellenbach with a controversial ball four call to force home Ryan and get the Chucks on the board. Brett Fulk came in to lock it down, and he did, striking out Yeager Taylor on four pitches to leave ‘em loaded.

Meanwhile, Degan Harte was tremendous in relief for Wisconsin, facing just two over the minimum through four scoreless innings. Finally, in a battle between the teams with the worst two fielding percentages in the league, errors proved costly for both sides. Mikey Filia reached on an infield single in the seventh against Harte, got to second on an error by Taylor, and scored on a Troy Johnston double to restore Green Bay’s three run lead.

Harte allowed just four hits with five punchouts over five innings, but Brett Fulk ultimately outdueled him, facing one over the minimum through three scoreless until the Woodchucks finally got something going in the ninth. Jordan Santos led off with a single and Ryan got on from an error by shortstop Riley Smith, moving Santos to third. Adonis Lao pinch-hit but flew out and Stevie Mangrum chopped one near the mound where Fulk fielded it to retire Mangrum. That forced Santos home to make it a two-run game with the tying run coming to the plate in the form of Foster, but Fulk got him to fly out as well to clinch the 4-2 Bullfrog win.

Fulk has dropped his ERA about 150 points after three very strong outings against the Woodchucks this week, picking up his first save and his first win of the year in the process. Wisconsin could only manage three hits for the second time this year and drops to 6-11 in games where it records five hits or fewer.

The Woodchucks will head into the state of Michigan for the final time this season early Saturday morning to take on the Kalamazoo Growlers in the season series finale. Korey Rasure will start for the Chucks, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM Central time.

Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and can be purchased online by calling 715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.

Tim Hackett, Broadcasting Intern