Flames cruise to fifth straight win

SAUKVILLE – The Plymouth Flames closed out the regular season with a bang as they hammered Saukville, 11-1, in Land O’ Lakes Baseball League Northern Division action here Sunday afternoon.

Plymouth, which has won five in a row, finished second in the division with a 13-5 record and takes a 20-8 overall mark into the playoffs. The Saints ended their regular season with a 7-11 league mark.

The Flames will host either Port Washington, Grafton or Saukville in the semifinals Sunday at 1 p.m. at Carl Loebe Field. Plymouth earned a first-round bye because it finished in the top two of its division.

Greg Rhude and younger brother, Matt, spearheaded the Flames’ 14-hit attack with three each. Eric Heidenreiter slugged a two-run homer and and Jake Klemme belted a solo homer, both in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Klemme, Luke Held and Heidenreiter contributed two hits each. Held and Heidenreiter had two RBIs apiece.

Klemme and Matt Rhude scored a team-high three runs each. Matt Rhude led in stolen bases with two.

Zac Cain, a standout on the Plymouth High School baseball team this summer, was the winning pitcher. Cain allowed only four hits in eight innings. He gave up one earned run, walked four, struck out three and hit a batter.

“Zac battled, worked very hard and threw strikes. He threw a variety of pitches and you can’t sit on one [as a batter],” said Flame manager Rick Meyer.

“We’re continuing to hit the ball very well. We had a lot of hard-hit balls. The guys are in a groove and are confident [at the plate]. It was a good team effort.”

The losing pitcher was Sam Matthies who started and threw four innings. Matthies surrendered seven runs (six earned) on nine hits with one walk and a strikeout. Matthies blanked the Flames, 8-0, on July 4.

Meyer is confident his ballclub can make a good run in the playoffs.

“I’m very hopeful this will continue,” said Meyer about his team’s strong play in recent weeks. “We’re ready to go.

“We’re hitting well. The big key will be if we can get good games out of our starting pitchers,” Meyer added.

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