The runs began in the first when Bethune-Cookman collected three runs on two hits off of the sophomore left-hander, Adam McCreery. ASU plated three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Freshman David Graybill made the crowd come alive after his two-out RBI single. It was Graybill’s first start as a Sun Devil.
Errors hurt the Sun Devils in the second; allowing Bethune-Cookman to plate two more runs, giving them a 5-3 lead. That ended up being the last Wildcat lead of the game. ASU fought their way back in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on five hits. Freshman R.J. Ybarra collected his first hit as a Sun Devil, doubling to center.
The offensive battle continued into the third as the Wildcats scored one run on one hit and the Sun Devils scored two runs on a Jake Peevyhouse single and a Kasey Coffman triple.
Kellogg made his Sun Devil debut in the top of the fourth. The freshman did not show any sign of nerves as he went three-up, three-down.
The crowd got a show from the ASU offense in the bottom of the fourth. Ybarra started the run show by hitting a single, scoring catcher Max Rossiter. Graybill then singled, moving Ybarra to third. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz was next with a single to left center, scoring Ybarra. Next, Jake Peevyhouse walked, allowing the top of the lineup a chance at the plate. Michael Benjamin reached on a fielder’s choice.
Trever Allen also singled in the inning. Bethune-Cookman committed two errors in the inning, leading to a four-run inning by the Devils. The fourth inning ended with a 12-6 Sun Devil lead.
Kellogg was back in the fifth, pitching another inning without allowing any runs or hits. The fifth was quiet for ASU as they ended the inning with three grounders.
Bethune-Cookman showed signs of life in the top of the sixth when they got two hits and were helped by a Sun Devil error. Kellogg showed the composure of a veteran as he struck out Wildcat Levonte Allen with the bases loaded; ending the Wildcat’s bid at a comeback.
Head Coach Tim Esmay let his highly-ranked freshman class get some action in the bottom of the sixth. The highlight of the inning was when freshman Cullen O’Dwyer crushed a two-run double into deep center field. The hit was the first of O’Dwyer’s Sun Devil career. Stankiewicz added on an RBI to build to the lead. ASU finished the inning ahead of the Wildcats 15-6.
Freshmen Jordan Aboites and Christopher Beall made their Sun Devil debuts in the top of the seventh. The Wildcats got just one hit off of Kellogg in the inning. Freshman Tony DiMartino notched his first college hit in the bottom of the seventh. His single to left field was the only ASU hit of the inning.
Redshirt junior Zak Miller relieved Kellogg in the eighth and Bethune-Cookman scored one run off one hit. The freshman class was back at it in the bottom of the eighth as DiNatale got his first career hit; hitting a single through the right side.
Josh McAllister took over the ninth and showed the crowd of 2,182 his submarine approach. McAllister shut down the game in a scoreless and hitless fashion. ASU hit their way to a 15-7 blowout. The Sun Devils improved their record to 2-0 on the season.
The talk of the game however was the 6’5 Ryan Kellogg. Kellogg pitched for Team Canada over the summer and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 MLB Draft. Fans were eager to see how the freshman would perform in the college spotlight. Four scoreless innings might have answered those questions.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all”, said Kellogg of his stellar performance, “I was hoping to pitch well. I’ve pitched in a lot of big games but this was definitely another big one to pitch in. Nerves were definitely going. I was shaking a little bit out there, but once you get that first out of the way, you start to settle down a little bit. After that first inning, I could sort of catch my breath, realize what’s going on and just enjoy the moment; be in the moment.”
Over the first two days of play, freshmen Brett Lilek, Ryan Burr, and Ryan Kellogg pitched seven innings, giving up just one run. Kellogg stressed how important it was for the freshmen to come out and make a name for themselves, especially in their first outings.
“It feels good to prove ourselves”, said the lefty. “We’ve been working with our coaches a lot about throwing strikes and working ahead in the count. That was a big factor for us; getting ahead early and making sure we can work as a group. We have to let the hitters get themselves out and let our defense work behind us instead of us having to try to strikeout guys all the time. It feels good to be able to prove ourselves and show that we belong here.”
Arizona State (2-0) looks to complete the sweep of Bethune-Cookman (0-2) tomorrow with the first pitch being at 12:30. On the mound for the Sun Devils is sophomore RHP Darin Gillies. On the mound for the Wildcats is RHP Scott Garner.