Usual suspects lead the way to streak-snapping win
After losing eight games in a row in July, the Green Bay Bullfrogs rattled off five straight wins, their longest winning streak of the season, going into Thursday. After winning three out of four in July, the Wisconsin Woodchucks dropped seven straight contests, their longest losing streak of the season, going into Thursday. But Thursday night at Athletic Park, everything changed as the Woodchucks (24-39; 9-19) finally snapped their skid with a 6-3 victory over the Bullfrogs (20-41; 8-18).
Leading off for the second straight game, Stevie Mangrum began the game with a full count walk against Will Gilbert, and Logan Foster followed by blasting his fourth home run of the season over the center-field wall to stake the Woodchucks to an early 2-0 lead.
Drew Hanson was strong in his last start of the year, but Green Bay worked some long at-bats against him, forcing his pitch count up early. His defense didn’t do him many favors either. Dan Leckie led off the second by reaching on an error, and Ben Chally followed with a double. In a defensive highlight, Adonis Lao threw the ball in from right to the cutoff man Trey Dawson, who relayed it home. Aaron Soucy applied the tag on Leckie there keep Green Bay scoreless, but Ben Hart singled Chally home to get the Bullfrogs going with an unearned run.
Errors cost Gilbert as well. Yeager Taylor got on to lead off the fourth, got to second on a passed ball, and scored on an Adonis Lao double to restore Wisconsin’s two run lead. Two wild pitches later, Lao came home too to put Wisconsin up 4-1. Another defensive miscue got Green Bay back within two in the fifth. Hart hit a one-out double and scored when Hunter Coleman dropped a relay to make it 4-2.
Walks have cost Will Gilbert all year, and they cost him dearly in the sixth on Thursday. Taylor led off with a walk and then Lao was hit by a pitch. Mike Ferri then walked to load the bases, and Mangrum stepped in and blasted a single under Leckie’s glove at third to force home two runs and put the Chucks up by four.
Hanson surrendered just the two unearned runs on just four hits with five strikeouts and zero walks. From there, the Wisconsin bullpen, which struggled against the Bullfrogs earlier this week, took over. Brad Schwind worked around a single by issuing two strikeouts in the sixth. Jackson Owens allowed two singles and a Willie Bourbon run but got a double play to limit damage in the seventh. Lenny Gwizdala allowed two hits but no runs in the eighth, and Orsen Josephina came in and tossed a flawless ninth for his 15th save of the season, icing the 6-3 Wisconsin win.
Stevie Mangrum seems to have found a home in the leadoff spot. He went 1-for-2 for the second straight game with three walks, two RBI and a run scored to engineer the offense. He’s now third in the Northwoods League with 77 hits on the campaign with 47 RBI and 51 runs scored, all top 10 in the league.
The Chucks will look to turn this win into a winning streak Friday night at Athletic park for the season finale with the Bullfrogs. Luke Hall will make his first start of the year for Wisconsin against Green Bay’s Mason Schwellenbach, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.
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.