Ryan Kellogg went 11-1 with a 3.15 ERA last year and came into his first start of this season against Baylor Saturday afternoon with high expectations for his second season starting on the bump.
It was Eric Melbostad however who relieved Kellogg and gave the Sun Devils four innings of work, only giving up one hit and one run, who stole the show and got his first career win as Arizona State took down Baylor 7-4.
"Everything was going right today," Melbostad said. "My teammates have done a great job helping me prepare for this."
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning after a hit batsman, a bunt and a walk, David Greer grounded into a fielder's choice to give ASU a 5-4 lead that it wouldn't relinquish.
Brian Serven got the scoring started for the Sun Devils on a single down the left field line to bring in RJ Ybarra in the bottom of the second inning. First baseman David Graybill blew the lead open for ASU with a double to deep left field that scored both Trever Allen and David Greer to give the maroon and gold a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
"That was one of the first fastballs they threw me," Graybill said. "Left-handed pitching -- I hit pretty well and I saw a fastball and I just turned on it."
The Bears used the long ball to try and climb back into the game with solo shots by Darryn Sheppard and Logan Brown, This brought Baylor back within one run, making it 4-3 game in the top of the fifth inning. Then, Adam Toth tied the game at four when he grounded into a fielders choice to score Duncan Wendel in the top of the sixth.
"To me I think we're the best team in the country," Graybill said. "I can say that with confidence I can say that with pride and I know how hard everyone has worked in here to get to this point."
The Sun Devils certainly worked hard to regain the lead and used small ball to slowly widen the margin of victory. A squeeze bunt again by Greer in the bottom of the eighth scoring Kyle Bilbrey and a Nate Causey pinch-hit single that put Trever Allen across the plate made it 7-4 and gave the Sun Devils their first win of the season.
"For me I'm just anxious," Graybill said. "I want to do so much and sometimes you just got to pull back the reigns a little bit and let all your hard work kind of show."
ASU plays Baylor again tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in the series rubber match.
Kellogg: 5 IP, 6H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Graybill: 1 for 4, 2 RBI
Aboites: 2 for 4, 2 runs.
Tucker Esmay, Nate Causey, Dalton Dinatale, Drew Stankiewicz and Johnny Sewald all started yesterday but were left out of the lineup Saturday. Causey and Dinatale both pinch hit during the game and Esmay was a pinch runner.