Saturday, May 21, 2016 Story and photos by Aidan Joly
An early start and never slowing down proved to be the way for Saratoga being able to pull off the upset.
The #6-seeded Saratoga Blue Streaks varsity baseball defeated the #3-seeded Ballston Spa Scotties on Thursday afternoon at Ballston Spa High School in the Section 2 quarterfinals by a score of 13-3.
Danny Hobbs got the start for the Blue Streaks, and they gave him a four run lead before he even walked out to the mound, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.
“It’s huge for all of us. Just to know that I respond well to the early lead, and really keep piling on after that,” Hobbs said.
This would hold true, as Saratoga extended their lead to 7-0 in the third inning, and then tacked on another run in the fourth.
“Our lineup is so strong, we were able to put guys in scoring position, and just keep rolling,” Saratoga head coach Andy Cuthbertson said.
Ballston Spa would pull their starting pitcher, Jake DeVito, in the third inning. He gave up seven runs on eight hits in his two-plus innings of work. Ballston Spa’s ace, Zach Durfee, did not get the start, but would pitch the seventh inning.
“The thing was, we were going to mix-and-match today. And it just ballooned on us,” Ballston Spa head coach Curtis Nobles said.
Hobbs got into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth, as he got into a bases loaded, zero out jam. However, he got through it with minimal damage, as he would only allow two runs in the inning, making the Saratoga lead 8-2 at the time.
Hobbs would keep rolling after the inning, throwing two more strong innings. He was pulled in the seventh inning after surrendering two straight walks to begin the frame.
His final line Thursday was six innings, two runs, two hits, four walks and four strikeouts. Keegan Leffler would come in to get the final three outs, but one of the walks came around to score to make the game 13-3. Saratoga had scored two more runs in the fourth, and added on three more in the sixth.
Brendon Frank was a large part of the offense, going 3-3 with two RBI’s. He also reached on an error. He had a triple in the first inning that took the Saratoga lead from 1-0 to 3-0 with one swing of the bat.
“Every ball was just getting through, and they we’re getting hit hard, too,” Frank said.
Saratoga will advance to the Section 2, Class AA semifinals after the win. They will take on #2 seeded CBA in the sectional semifinals, who beat #7 seeded Colonie on Thursday, as well.
Cuthbertson said that he is still undecided who will be the starting pitcher, but said it will be either Corey MacArthur or Danny Coleman. That game will be played on Saturday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy. First pitch is scheduled for 4 PM, and will be followed by Guilderland vs Shenendehowa at 7 PM.