Cardenas, Clarke lead Woodchucks to shutout of Bullfrogs
The Wisconsin Woodchucks surrendered 28 runs over two games against Lakeshore this week. Thursday night in Green Bay, they didn’t surrender one. Three Woodchucks (11-19) pitchers combined to limit the Green Bay Bullfrogs (11-19) to no runs on just four hits in a 1-0 Wisconsin win, the second win by that scoreline in four days.
Gordon Cardenas’ sixth start of the season was his best. He was tagged for five runs over two innings his last time pitching against Green Bay, but he was fabulous the second time around, facing one runner over the minimum through five innings of shutout ball. He was helped by a double play in the first and a caught stealing in the third, but he allowed just one hit and walked two with three strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year.
His counterpart, Connor Wollersheim, was also excellent, allowing just two baserunners – Hunter Coleman twice – in his first five innings. But he finally made one mistake with two outs in the sixth, and Tristan Clarke made him pay, blasting his first home run of the year over the left field wall to make it 1-0 Wisconsin.
Armando Gonzalez came in to relieve Cardenas in the bottom of the sixth and worked around an infield single to keep the shutout intact. He then tossed a scoreless seventh but ran into a little trouble in the eighth, as Brad Hamilton and Riley Smith hit back-to-back singles to put two men on with two men out. Daniel Sprinkle was summoned to close the door, and he slammed it shut by getting Mikey Filia to ground out to end the threat.
Wisconsin got one baserunner against Alex Lee in the eighth and two against Luke VanLanen in the ninth, but could not capitalize. That meant Sprinkle would be back to pitch the ninth with just a one-run lead, and he got two groundouts and a flyout to clinch the 1-0 shutout.
Coleman impressed in his debut, reaching all four times he batted with two singles and two walks. Cardenas’ win was his first of the year, and the Woodchucks dropped their team ERA by about 25 points thanks to the team goose egg. The Chucks will look to build off this win as they welcome the Bullfrogs to Wausau Friday night. Drew Hanson will make his first start of the season for Wisconsin, with first pitch at 7:05 PM.
Tickets are on sale to all Wisconsin Woodchucks home games and the 2017 Northwoods League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, presented by Ascension. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling715.845.5055 or by stopping by the Woodchucks front office during normal business hours.