Baseball: Burlington Central doubles up Genoa-Kingston
It was an umpiring decision that could have made the Burlington Central baseball team shiver, but the Rockets still delivered an 8-4 win against Genoa-Kingston on the day their music died.
In the second inning of Tuesday's Big Northern East series opener on Rocket Hill, first-year G-K baseball coach Roger Butler asked the home plate umpire to do something about an age-old problem: teenagers and their loud music.
Butler would later call the walk-up and between-innings music being played and controlled by students in the Central dugout, "so loud I can't hear myself talk."
The umpire agreed. He told the Rockets to cut the volume in half midway through the second inning. Apparently not satisfied with the result, the ump told them to kill the music completely midway through the third.
Even without their eclectic mix of hip-hop, hard rock, rap and country walk-up music, Central hitters came to bat in the bottom of the third of a scoreless game and drove the Chevy to the levee, scoring 4 runs on 3 hits to take a 4-0 lead against G-K right-hander Drew Caldwell. Cleanup hitter Killian Vasica swatted a 2-run double to fuel the rally.
After Genoa-Kingston (6-10, 1-4) tied the game with 2 runs in the fourth inning and 2 more in the fifth against Central righty Craig Schuring (4-1), the Rockets didn't let moss grow fat on a rolling stone. They answered with 4 more runs in their half of the fifth to take an 8-4 lead. The go-ahead run scored on a fielder's choice infield roller off the bat of Brandon Van Buren. A second run crossed on the play due to a G-K throwing error.
Nelson said the Central offense was galvanized by the continuing chase for the BNC-East title, not because the team was told to pipe down musically. The win improved the Rockets to 9-7 overall, 5-1 in league play.
"I wish it did have an effect because then we would just turn it (the music) off and go hog wild," he said. "It was just silly. I don't know. I've never seen that before."
A 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior, Schuring lasted 5⅓ innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 7 hits. He walked 2, hit 2 batsmen and struck out 9 before leaving the game with a 4-run lead and runners at first and second with one out in the sixth.
Anthony Larson, a 6-foot-4 senior lefty, relieved Schuring with the tying run in the hole and earned the save by notching 4 strikeouts in 1⅔ innings.
"It's a big win for us in conference," said Schuring, who escaped a bases-loaded situation in a the fifth inning of a 4-4 game with a groundball to shortstop. "After splitting against Richmond-Burton last week, it's good to get the first one against these guys and stay ahead, especially since we'll probably see their ace, (Brady) Huffman on Thursday."
The Rockets collected 5 doubles, including a pair by leadoff man Clay Milas.