Four Flames earn East/North top honors

Flames’ Greg Rhude voted MVP

GREG RHUDE GREG RHUDE The Plymouth Flames had four players named to the Land O’ Lakes Baseball League All-Eastern/ Northern Divisions’ first team for the 2015 season.

Heading the Flames’ group of honorees is shortstop Greg Rhude who was voted the East/North Most Valuable Player. Plymouth’s other first-team picks are second baseman Clay Henning, outfielder Matt Rhude and utility player Jake Klemme.

Klemme, a pitcher, infielder, outfielder and catcher, was also selected honorable mention as a pitcher. The Flames’ other All- North/East player is Luke Held who earned honorable mention at catcher and designated hitter. Held was voted the Rookie of the Year.

All five Flames honored are former Plymouth High School baseball players.

Longtime Flame manager Rick Meyer was voted the East/North Co-Manager of the Year along with the Cedarburg Mercs’ Matt Behling.

CLAY HENNING CLAY HENNING Meyer guided the Flames to the championships in the Northern Division and East/North playoffs. The Flames’ East/North title advanced them to the league’s grand championship playoffs for the first time since 1991.

The Flames earned the Jake Oelhafen Championship Trophy for winning the East/North title. New Berlin and Cedarburg received the second- and third-place awards, respectively, for the East/ North playoffs.

“Greg had a fantastic, allaround season for us,” said Meyer.

“Greg has always had a reputation as an outstanding defensive player but his offensive output really shined this year. Greg led the league in hitting, slugging percentage and stolen bases.

“Greg provided the leadership to spearhead our championship run,” said the Plymouth skipper.

Greg Rhude batted an impressive .481, had 15 steals and an outstanding .673 slugging percentage. He was third in on-base percentage with .537, tied for fifth in RBIs with 16 and shared second in doubles with eight. He also scored 18 runs.

RICK MEYER RICK MEYER “Jake earned the all-league utility award by excelling at numerous positions during the season. Besides going 4-0 [in league play] on the mound with some big wins, Jake also played first base, third base, catcher and left field. He hit .296 with nine extra base hits,” Meyer pointed out.

Klemme was the North’s home run champion with three, had 10 RBIs and scored eight runs. He posted a 3.23 ERA in league ac- tion.

“Clay had a nice year in his rookie season. Although he played second, third and shortstop, he played enough games to qualify [for All-East/North honors] at second base,” said Meyer.

“Clay had a good, balanced season with only two errors. He hit .356 with six extra-base hits which are great numbers for a rookie.”

JAKE KLEMME JAKE KLEMME Henning scored 14 runs.

“Matt turned in an outstanding season in the outfield, making significant improvement offensively,” Meyer noted.

“He led the league in runs scored [tied for first with 25] and sported a .354 batting average with eight extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases.

“He earned his spot on the allleague team with his aggressive play. Matt’s development was a key to the team’s success this year.”

Matt Rhude tied for third in doubles with seven in the East/ North. He shared third in steals. Rhude also pitched and had a 3-2 record with one save.

“Luke earned the league rookie of-the-year honor with solid play throughout the season. Luke was 12th in the league in hitting, fourth in slugging percentage and third in RBIs,” Meyer said.

MATT RHUDE MATT RHUDE “He also played very well for us behind the plate at catcher.”

Held batted .362 with 18 RBIs, one home run and a .574 slugging percentage.

“I do appreciate the Manager of the Year award. It is a reflection of the team’s success as you usually get the award if your team wins the championship but I’d like to think that I had a positive effect on the team’s success this year,” said Meyer.

“There is more to managing than just filling out a lineup card. I put a lot of time into the Flames, so I hope that my efforts do help to put us into a position to win ball games.”

The Most Valuable Pitcher is Zach Lauterbach of Cedarburg. He was 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA and three complete games. Lauterbach and Muskego’s Cole Borek shared the lead in wins.

The Rookie Pitcher of the Year is Cedarburg’s Jordan Piel. Piel finished third in ERA with an impressive 1.70.

Greg Rhude received the Flames’ Gold Glove award for outstanding defense. Each team had the opportunity to select a player for Gold Glove honors.

Fan Appreciation Awards were presented to each team. Gary and Laura Klemme, parents of Jake Klemme, were the Flames’ awardwinners.

Ross Zahour of Cedarburg was the RBI champion with 27. The ERA leader was New Berlin’s Ben Versnik with an excellent 1.20.

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