Burlington Central 2, Wheaton Academy 0: Senior ace Danny Gerke blanked the Warriors on 3 hits as No. 2 Burlington Central (20-11) defeated No. 3 Wheaton Academy (16-14) in a Class 3A Hampshire regional semifinal on Thursday.
Gerke (9-0) issued a lone walk, struck out 5 and lowered his earned-run average to 0.63 in 56 innings.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Brendan Bushy doubled to left field and Andrew Wiss followed with a line-drive single to center field for a 1-0 lead. Wiss collected 3 of Central's 4 hits in the game.
The Rockets scored an insurance run in the sixth. Reed Hunnicutt was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second and reached third when the throw from the catcher got away. Hunnicutt subsequently scored on an error by the shortstop.
The Rockets will play No. 1 Sycamore (28-7) for the Hampshire regional title on Saturday at noon.
Dundee-Crown 5, DeKalb 4, 8 inn.: The Chargers took advantage of Class 4A regional host DeKalb's generosity in this semifinal win. Dundee-Crown (14-18) scored 3 runs in the seventh inning to tie the game, and they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to an error sandwiched between 2 walks. Chase Bloch then hit a groundball to shortstop and the Barbs could not make the play, allowing Vince Damato to cross the plate with the winning run.
Ahren Ludwig (5-3) earned the win in a 1-inning relief relief appearance, and Sam Ray collected 2 hits for D-C, which benefitted from 3 DeKalb errors.
No. 2 Dundee-Crown will play No. 1 Huntley (25-7-1) for the regional title on Saturday at 10 a.m. The Chargers upset Huntley 3-0 in the 2013 DeKalb regional final.