Sunday, May 31, 2015 by Aidan Joly
When Matt Alverson stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning, everything suggested it would be a normal at-bat facing Danny Hobbs. Then, the unthinkable happened.
Alverson hit a hard line drive right back up the middle, and it hit Hobbs in the face, knocking him to the ground in seconds.
Saratoga’s varsity baseball team won the Section 2 Class AA championship on Friday at Joe Bruno Stadium by defeating Shenendehowa in a classic between the two rivals by a score of 1-0. It was Saratoga’s first section championship in 20 years.
“My first thought when I woke up was ‘What happened? Where did I get hit?.’ I knew something happened.” Hobbs said.
Team trainers got to him immediately, and he threw a few pitches after the third out of the inning was made before walking off with an ice pack to his face.
Amazingly, he came back into the game for the fifth inning, in which he kept Shen scoreless.
According to Head Coach Richard Lofink, he came out of the game after that inning only because his eye had swelled shut, impairing his vision.
Brendon Frank got the Blue Streaks their only run, hitting a RBI single in the top of the first inning off Ian Anderson, who will be pitching at Vanderbilt in two years. This was Frank’s first time facing him.
“He gave me a good pitch, and I drove it up the middle.” Frank said.
Lofink said of the game, “Hobbs did great, and Cory did the job he’s been doing all year”.
After Hobbs came out, closer Cory MacArthur came in for the last two innings, shutting down Shen, and finally inducing a ground ball to shortstop Zach Guzi to seal the game.
“I knew (Guzi) would make that play, and it was such a good sight to see.” MacArthur said.
The Blue Streaks had to go through some adversity late in the season, accumulating with head coach Dean Bailey being removed from his position.
Lofink said of his team’s season, “It’s amazing. It’s so unbelievable, and I’m so proud of the kids.”
Aidan Joly is a frehsman covering sports for The Lightning Rod.