Flames fall to Mercs in key divisional game

CEDARBURG – Two big innings ignited the Cedarburg Mercs past the Plymouth Flames, 9-1, in Land O’ Lakes Baseball League action here Sunday afternoon.

The Mercs upped their firstplace Northern Division record to 10-2. The Flames, who could’ve pulled to within a half-game of Cedarburg in the divisional race with a win, slipped to 7-4 (11-6 overall) but are still in second place.

Cedarburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, helped by three Plymouth errors which resulted in all of the runs being unearned. The Mercs’ only hit in the frame was an RBI single by Nick Boehnlein.

The Mercs blew the game open with five runs in the fourth to build a 9-0 cushion. Cedarburg had three hits and drew four walks. Brian Bert whacked an RBI double, John Vandenberg delivered a run-scoring single and Kraig Perlberg drilled an RBI triple in the fourth.

The Flames outhit Cedarburg 9-8 but committed four errors and their pitchers issued six walks while winning pitcher Taylor Piel walked only one.

Piel earned a complete-game win. The lefty fanned an impressive 12 batters and allowed one earned run.

“Piel had a really good curveball and we struggled against it,” said Flame manager Rick Meyer.

“We didn’t play well. It was a huge game. Dave Stecker threw well in relief.”

The Flames scored their run in the sixth. Luke Held tripled and came home on Dusty Medved’s ensuing single.

Austin Mork led Plymouth in hits with two. The Mercs’ attack was keyed by Bert, Vandenberg and Boehnlein with two hits each. Boehnlein had a team-high three RBIs.

The losing hurler was starter Matt Rhude. Rhude gave up eight runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk, a strikeout and one hit batter in 3-1/3 innings. Stecker pitched three scoreless innings in relief. Stecker allowed no hits and one walk to go with three strikeouts.


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