When Austin Voth pitched to Reese McGuire on Tuesday, it marked a journey from the baseball fields of Kentwood High School to Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Voth got the best of McGuire in both at bats in a rare showdown between two former players from the same high school facing off in the majors. And they played in front of no fans due to the COVID-19 restrictions in a scheduled 60-game season.
Voth, 28, a right-handed pitcher for Washington, forced McGuire, 25, a Toronto Blue Jays catcher, to ground out in his first at bat. McGuire reached on a throwing error by second baseman Starlin Castro in his second and final at bat against Voth.
Toronto won 5-1. McGuire batted ninth and went 1 for 4 with a single. Voth pitched five innings and took the loss. He allowed four hits, two earned runs, walked none and struck out two. He gave up two home runs.
Voth helped lead Kentwood to the 201o Class 4A state championship before he went on to pitch at the University of Washington. The Nationals took Voth in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He was not drafted out of high school. He made his Major League debut in 2018.
In 2012, McGuire helped lead Kentwood to the state championship as a junior catcher. Pittsburgh drafted McGuire in the first round of the 2013 draft. He was the 14th overall picked and signed a contract with the Pirates that included a $2.3 million bonus. McGuire had received a college scholarship to play baseball at the University of San Diego, but decided to turn pro.
Pittsburgh traded McGuire to the Blue Jays in 2016. He made his Major League debut in 2018.
McGuire is the middle of three brothers who played at Kentwood. Oldest brother Cash McGuire played baseball at Seattle University. Youngest brother Shane McGuire is a first baseman at the University of San Diego.
Jones makes debut
Taylor Jones, 26, another Kentwood graduate, made his Major League debut July 26 with the Houston Astros. The first baseman was then reassigned on July 27 to the minors. Jones played at Gonzaga after he helped lead Kentwood to state titles in 2010 and 2012.
Jones, drafted in the 19th round by the Astros in 2016, became the fourth Kentwood graduate to play in the majors.
Matt Hague made his debut in 2012 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who drafted him in the ninth round of the 2008 draft out of Oklahoma State University. He played three years in the majors. The Blue Jays hired Hague in January to be the hitting coach for their Class A-Advanced minor league team in Dunedin, Florida.