The Burlington Central baseball team clinched the outright Big Northern Conference East Division championship with an 8-2 victory at Rockford Christian in six innings Thursday.
The BNC East title is the second straight for Central (11-8, 10-2) and the program's fourth in five seasons.
"It's good for this group this year," Rockets coach Kyle Nelson said of winning the division. "We struggled a bit early, so it's good to see them come together at the end and accomplish one of our goals, which is always to win the conference championship."
Ryan Schuring (1-3) held Rockford Christian to 2 earned runs on 4 hits. He walked 6 and struck out 6 in 5 innings of work.
Bryan Cynova doubled and drove in 3 runs, Blake Alexander homered and drove in 2 runs and Michael Scott and Alex Bell each collected 2 hits for Central.
Huntley 12, Cary-Grove 0: Top-ranked Huntley dodged the raindrops and tightened its grip on first place in the Valley Division of the Fox Valley Conference Thursday with a 12-0, five-inning home victory against Cary-Grove to complete a 2-game sweep.
Junior Eric Luecht improved to 7-0 by holding the Trojans to 3 hits without a walk. He struck out 3 in 5 innings to lead Huntley (22-3, 13-3). The win gives the Red Raiders a 1½-game lead on second-place Crystal Lake South, which was rained out Thursday.
The 12-hit attack by the Red Raiders was led by seniors Colin Lyman (1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI), Bryce Only (2-for-3, 2B, RBI), Tyler Mindak (2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs) and Kameron Sallee (2-for-3, 2 runs) and juniors Tommy Kiriakopoulos (2-for-3, RBI, 3 runs) and Troy Cantu (2-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 runs).
Cary-Grove starting pitcher Zach Marszal (3-4) lasted 2 innings He yielded 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits. He walked none and struck out 3. Daniel Vilardo, Dean Lee and Matt Sutherland managed the only singles for Cary-Grove (16-8, 10-5), which slipped into a third-place tie with McHenry.
Lake Park 2, South Elgin 0: South Elgin's Ryan Nutof pitched well enough to win but the Storm could muster only 5 hits in this Upstate Eight Valley loss. Nutof gave up 9 hits with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks. Nick Binder had a triple for South Elgin (11-12, 10-9).
Jerry Fitzpatrick and John Radtke contributed to this report