After a disappointing 12-23 second half of the Northwoods League season, the Bullfrogs’ summer reached an end on Sunday with a win against La Crosse, leaving a 34-36 overall record.
The season, as is typical with most Northwoods League teams, got off to a rocky start. The season started with only eight of 26 full contract players, with the other still finishing up their college seasons and scheduled to arrive later.
The Bullfrogs started out the season 5-7 before hitting their stride two weeks in when the mass of talented full contract players arrived in town.
The most successful and most memorable stretch of the 2012 season came within the dates of June 11 to June 29. After beginning with that 5-7 record in the first 12 games, the Bullfrogs rolled to a 15-3 record during this time span, including winning streaks of five and six games, respectively.
Even after the slow start, with this winning stretch the Bullfrogs put themselves in position to qualify for the Northwoods League playoffs by winning the first half title of the South Division.
Trailing the Loggers by two games with four games to play in the first half, the Bullfrogs traveled to La Crosse for a two game series with the first half on the line. Disappointment was on the horizon, however, as the Bullfrogs were swept in the two game series and failed to qualify for the postseason, finishing 22-13 in the first half, four games behind the Loggers.
The pitching was the story throughout the late-June run, and throughout most of the first half. The Bullfrogs staff dominated the Northwoods League with a team ERA of 2.21 in the month of June.
This success led to a league-best six players selected to the midseason All-Star team, with the game played at Warner Park in Madison on July 24, midway through the second half of the season. Five pitchers-Bradley Wallace, Zak Hermans, Bryce Bellin, Taylor Black and Will Landsheft-joined team RBI leader, second-baseman Justin Seager in the All-Star honors.
To begin the second half, injuries to starting players derailed the Bullfrogs. Within a week’s time, catchers Duncan McAlpine and Kevin Krause, infielder Clayton Eslick, and pitchers Christian Cecilio and DJ Slaton suffered injuries and were forced to leave the team for the summer.