Flames lose pitchers’ duel in playoff opener


DEREK HALL, shown pitching versus Thiensville-Mequon on July 30, threw a strong game against the Kewaskum A’s in Wednesday’s Rock River Baseball League playoff opener. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DEREK HALL, shown pitching versus Thiensville-Mequon on July 30, threw a strong game against the Kewaskum A’s in Wednesday’s Rock River Baseball League playoff opener. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HUSTISFORD – Kewaskum’s Austin Cairo outdueled Plymouth’s Derek Hall in pitching the A’s to a 3-1 win over the Flames in the first round of the Rock River Baseball League’s Northern Division playoffs here Wednesday night.

The defeat eliminated the Flames from the playoffs. The win advanced the A’s to the double-elimination portion of the playoffs last weekend. Kewaskum is still alive in the playoffs after downing Cedarburg and losing to Hustisford.

Cairo allowed one earned run on six hits with no walks and eight strikeouts en route to a complete game. He retired 15 straight batters from the fourth inning until the ninth when Greg Rhude singled with one out.

Hall went the distance and gave up two earned runs on 11 hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He was able to pitch out of some trouble as Kewaskum stranded 10 baserunners.

“Derek pitched well. We could’ve helped him with better defense. He mixes it up and he battled,” said Flame man- ager Rick Meyer whose team finished the season with a 22- 10 record.

“Their pitcher threw well. He threw pretty hard and didn’t walk anyone. It was a good game. They made a couple of plays [on defense].”

The Flames trailed 3-1 going into the top of the ninth where they put together a scoring threat. Greg Rhude and Zac Cain hit back-to-back singles with one out which put runners at first and third. Cairo fanned the next two batters to end the game.

Kewaskum took a 1-0 lead in the second on a single by Anthony Matic which drove in Nick Rosenthal who had singled with one away. An infield error with two outs caused the run to be unearned.

Plymouth tied the score, 1-1, in the fourth. Greg Rhude led off with a double. One out later, Matt Rhude singled which advanced Greg Rhude to third. The Flames executed a double-steal with Matt Rhude swiping second while Greg Rhude stole home.

The A’s regained the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Matic knocked in a run when he reached first on a fielder’s choice.

Kewaskum went up 3-1 in the sixth on Brad Young’s two-out double.

Greg Rhude and his younger brother, Matt, led the Flames in hits with two each.

Mike Hensel had a teamhigh three hits for the A’s, followed by Matic with two.

Meyer thought Will Birkholz played well at catcher for Plymouth as he filled in for starter Mike Daly. Birkholz was a sophomore on the Plymouth Panthers’ baseball team this past season.

“I was happy with our season overall. We played really well down the stretch,” said the manager.


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