After five innings, Burlington Central led Genoa-Kingston 7-6 in a tight Big Northern East baseball matchup Friday in Genoa. Then the Rockets' offense exploded over the final two innings to turn the game into a rout.
Central scored 9 runs on just 4 hits in the sixth and seventh innings to come away with a 16-8 victory.
Leadoff man Drew Wiss ignited the offense. He had 2 triples, a single and 2 walks, was hit by a pitch, scored twice and drove in 2. Mike Lee and Jacob Schutta had 2 hits apiece for the Rockets, and Reed Hunnicutt added a 2-run homer in the fourth inning.
Jake Johnson got the win in relief of Brenden Bushy.
"We made some miscues defensively early and they took advantage of it," said Central coach Kyle Nelson. "Then we tightened it up a little bit, and Jake Johnson came in and threw the ball well for us, which was good to see. Offensively, we were able to have a couple of big innings and sort of separate us."
The Rockets (11-4, 5-0) trailed 6-5 after 4 innings, but took the lead for good with 2 runs in the fifth. They broke the game wide open with 5 more in the sixth. Schutta drove in a run with a single, and Wiss knocked in 2 more with a triple to the fence in right-center. He came in on an error.
The wheels continued to come off for the Cogs in the seventh as the Rockets added 4 more. The inning featured an error, 3 more walks, and 2 hit batters. Bases-loaded walks to Danny Gerke and pinch-hitter Max Judnic accounted for a pair of runs.
Johnson and Steve Wisniewski on the mound made the lead stand up.
Bushy never got untracked after taking a line drive off his pitching elbow in the second inning. Johnson came in with 2 outs in the fourth and the Rockets trailing and retired the first 7 batters he faced.
When the first two Genoa batters reached in the seventh, Wisniewski came on and got out of the inning despite allowing the inherited runners to score a pair of unearned runs.