ASU freshman Kellogg reflects on no-hitter
The Arizona State baseball team knew it had to redeem itself last Saturday after being one-hit by No. 3 Oregon State the previous night. Little did the Devils know they would become a part of history that day.
Freshman left-hander Ryan Kellogg, entering with four straight wins to start his career, threw ASU’s first no-hitter since February 2, 1993, as well as the school’s first ever in Pac-10/12 conference play, the second ever on the road and the fourth by a freshman. He did not allow a walk in 110 pitches, with Oregon State’s only two base runners reaching on errors. Neither of those runners made it past first.
Kellogg had only three strikeouts in the game, so he knew he had to rely on his defense.
“I knew they were behind me the whole game. Only two mishaps, but that’s baseball and it happens, so you just have to work around it. They played phenomenally behind me, and I was really happy about it.”
It took a while for it to sink in for Kellogg that he had something special going.
“I made a joke about having a no-hitter going into the second inning, but because it was so early, I thought, ‘This is never going to last,’ and I didn’t realize it was perfect until we made the error in the seventh inning. I think he (shortstop Drew Stankiewicz) was more upset about it than I was. It wasn’t really a big deal.”
One can only imagine how the freshman was feeling as he took the mound for the final three outs of the game.
“Near the end, I got a little anxious.” said Kellogg. I tried to not look at the dugout while I was on the mound, because they (the team) were going crazy.”
Thanks to Kellogg, the Sun Devils handed the Beavers their first conference loss of the season and only their second loss of the year. The lefty has now defeated two top-five teams this season, as he also beat No. 2 Arkansas in Surprise last month.
And with his no-no, Kellogg became an overnight sensation in the college baseball world. He was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Pitcher of the Week and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week. The freshman also sent his hat to the College Baseball Hall of Fame, where his no-hitter will be memorialized.
“It is definitely a huge moment in my career, as well as for ASU baseball. To come out and have a performance like this after the day we had yesterday, especially against No. 3 Oregon State, is great for the team and the program.”
ASU pitching coach Ken Knutson was credited with letting Kellogg stay in the game despite a mounting pitch count.
“If a kid has got a shutout and his pitch count is decent, I’m going to let him finish.” said Knutson.
“I was thinking that we needed to win the game. That was the big thing. It was so tight. We didn’t get a hit for four innings. As the game was going on, I was certainly aware of it, but toward the end when we got a little bit of a cushion, it was more about getting the thing done.”
Kellogg added that he now feels as if he now has a target on his back and will use the no-hitter as motivation to continue to improve. He will need to use that motivation on Friday night, as No. 4 UCLA comes to Packard Stadium.