Clutch bunting keys Flames’ league win


MATT RHUDE of the Plymouth Flames fires a pitch to a Kewaskum batter in Friday night’s baseball game. The Flames’ first baseman shown is Zac Cain. Rhude earned a 3-2 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley MATT RHUDE of the Plymouth Flames fires a pitch to a Kewaskum batter in Friday night’s baseball game. The Flames’ first baseman shown is Zac Cain. Rhude earned a 3-2 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Flames used clutch bunting to key a 3-2 win over the Kewaskum A’s in a Rock River Baseball League game Friday night at Carl Loebe Field.

The Flames upped their firstplace Northeast Division record to 3-0 and improved to 5-0 overall. Kewaskum slipped to 1-3 in the division.

Wednesday night, the host Flames pulled out a 6-5 win in 10 innings over West Bend Lithia in their Tri-County Nite League opener.

Plymouth trailed the A’s 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. Tyler Willeford led off with a bunt single and Austin Mork then was hit by a pitch. Greg Krahn advanced the runners to second and third bases with a sacrifice bunt.


JAKE KLEMME of the Plymouth Flames watches his eventual double in the first inning of Friday night’s baseball game versus Kewaskum. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JAKE KLEMME of the Plymouth Flames watches his eventual double in the first inning of Friday night’s baseball game versus Kewaskum. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Eric Heidenreiter batted next and laid down a perfectlyexecuted squeeze bunt which brought home Willeford with the tying run. Heidenreiter, who was credited with an RBI, was safe at first on an error by the pitcher when he had trouble fielding the bunt. Mork moved to third on the bunt and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Jake Klemme came on in relief for the Flames in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced, including five on strikeouts as he overpowered the A’s with his fastball. Klemme earned a save.

Matt Rhude started on the mound for Plymouth and picked up the win after going seven solid innings. Rhude gave up a two-run homer to Jason Strubel in the first and allowed only two hits over the next 6-1/3 innings. Rhude allowed two earned runs on only four hits with seven strikeouts and just one walk in seven frames.

The Flames scored their first run in the sixth. Zac Cain hit an opposite-field double down the left-field line with one out. Cain moved to third on a Greg Rhude’s groundout. Cain scored when the pitcher threw wildly past the first baseman after fielding Luke Held’s hard-hit grounder which had caromed off him.

The losing pitcher was reliever Brad Young who gave up three runs (one earned) on two hits with one walk, a hit batter and four strikeouts.

Each team had only four hits. Strubel had a game-high two hits.

“This was a good win for us. Our pitching was great. Our pitching has been doing really well for us this season,” said Flame manager Rick Meyer.

“I was happy with our bunting. We executed the bunts very well. We played good defense behind our pitchers.”

WEST BEND GAME

The Flames pushed across two unearned runs in the bottom of the 10th to edge West Bend. Mork and Willeford drew backto back walks to start the frame.

Ryan Wachter followed with a sacrifice bunt. The pitcher made an errant throw to the first baseman on the bunt which scored Mork and advanced Willeford and Wachter to second and third, respectfully. Klemme followed with an intentional walk which loaded the bases.

Matt Rhude batted next and grounded into a fielder’s choice in which Willeford was forced at home for the first out. The catcher then tried to double-up Rhude at first but made an errant throw which allowed Wachter to score the winning run.

Meyer was pleased the Flames found a way to win the game but said they left too many runners on base – a total of 13.

“Matt Schroeder had his first outing [on the mound) and did a nice job. Ryan Wachter came in and did a good job pitching,” said Meyer.

Schroeder pitched the first six innings and gave up three runs (all earned) on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Wachter earned the win in relief – going the last four innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Klemme led the Flames in hits with three, including a leadoff homer in the first. He also had a team-high two RBIs. Cain, Schroeder and Krahn contributed two hits each.

Ryan Morrison sparked Lithia’s attack with four hits, including a solo homer in the 10th which gave his team a 5-4 lead. Morrison also led in RBIs with two. Jed Prange added two hits.

Ryan Westenberger took the loss in relief – allowing the two runs in the 10th.


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