HAMPSHIRE – The Burlington Central baseball team shut down Wheaton Academy, 2-0, in Thursday's IHSA Class 3A Hampshire Regional semifinal.
The Rockets rode a dominant pitching performance from Danny Gerke to earn a spot in Saturday's regional final against Sycamore.
Gerke (9-0), a Judson recruit, did not allow a runner to reach second base and scattered three hits in his complete-game effort.
"He kind of throws five different pitches and he really had all five working today," Central coach Kyle Nelson said.
Drew Wiss had three hits for Central (20-11) and anchored the defense with a strong day at shortstop. Left fielder Tanner Smith started a double play with a leaping grab in the gap before doubling off a runner at first base on a hit-and-run try by the Warriors (17-14).
Wheaton Academy got a solid pitching performance from Brett Albaugh and two hits from Jake Lindstedt.
Class 1A prelims: At Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Aurora Christian's relay team of Noah Roberts, Noah Hagerty, Grant Schweisthal and Johnathan Harrell posted the fastest qualifying time in both the 4x100 relay (42.99 seconds) and 4x200 relay (1:29.54).
Mooseheart's Wal Khat won his heat in qualifying in the 800-meter run in 1:58.50 and also was part of the Rambers' 4x400 relay that posted the fastest qualifying time in 3:26.44. Khat was joined on the relay by Jeremy Kalicum, Josh Gordon and Brandon Gadson.