With high school baseball in full swing, every game is extremely important for every team, and Jason Kavanaugh came up huge for Ballston Spa on Wednesday afternoon. The senior outfielder homered twice, including a grand slam that broke a 6-6 tie in the 7th inning to propel the Scotties past the Troy Flying Horses.
Both teams got off to extremely quick starts in the 1st inning. Ballston pounced on Troy starter Michael Hughes for 4 runs, including a Kavanaugh 2-run shot to straightaway left field. However, Troy didn’t lie down in the bottom of the inning, answering with 5 runs. Division 1 prospect David Judge clobbered a 2-run home run that cut the lead to 4-3, and the Flying Horses racked up a few more hits to drive across two more.
The scoring died down for a while, but the game did not. Both teams continually stranded runners on base, and Hughes and Scotties starter Geordan Buffoline continually worked themselves out of jams. Troy added a run in the bottom of the 4th to stretch their lead to 6-4, but Luke Gold scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 5th to cut it to 6-5.
Matt Poirier came in to pitch the 6th for Ballston and was automatic in his relief role, spinning a 1-2-3 inning. Troy headed into the 7th clutching to their 6-5 lead, and Mervin LaBoy came in to attempt the save. It didn’t go very well. Ballston second baseman Jake Fox led off the inning with a double into the left-center gap. Jared Winkle followed that up with a walk, and Luke Gold singled into centerfield, which scored pinch runner Steven Pastore from second base, tying the game. LaBoy walked Aaron Hinman to load the bases, still with nobody out. That brought up Jason Kavanaugh, who was looking for his second home run of the game. Here’s a hint; he got it. Kavanaugh stroked a shot to dead center field, emptying the bases and giving Ballston a 10-6 lead. That would be it for LaBoy, who allowed 5 runs without getting a single out. It was all elementary from there for Matt Poirier, who retired the side in the bottom of the 7th without much trouble.
Matt Poirier (1-0) picks up the win on the mound for the Scotties, and they improve to 2-0 on the young season. They have a big game this afternoon at Saratoga in the Route 50 rivalry game. For Troy, they fall to 2-2 on the season, and will also play this afternoon, at Columbia.