clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#SunDevilMoments Championship: Ballage Moonwalk vs. Hingst's No-hitter

It has come down to this. Kalen Ballage's Moonwalk touchdown goes up against Ryan Hingst's no-hitter in the finale of our #SunDevilMoments series. You have until Monday at 9 a.m. PT to vote!

Blake Benard

After weeks of unveiling our top moments from the ASU athletics season and you, the fans, voting on them, we have our championship matchup. Sixteen moments turned to eight, turned to four, turned to two. Now, you the fans will have two full days to vote on which moment will take the crown in our #SunDevilMoments series.

Here is how the bracket shapes up.

#SunDevilMoments Championship - Seed No. 1: The Kalen Ballage Moonwalk vs. Seed No. 3: Ryan Hingst's No-hitter

#SunDevilMoments Seed No. 1: The Kalen Ballage Moonwalk

The Sun Devils stepped into Rose Bowl Stadium with little to make many question how the result of their contest against the No. 7 UCLA Bruins would turn out.

ASU was coming off the heels of a 42-14 blowout loss to USC. It finished the September portion of the campaign 2-2, and was looking to begin October on the right foot--and, somehow, it did.

Thanks to a complete performance, the Sun Devils were in the driver's seat with just under a minute left to go, lined up on the Bruins' 23-yard line.

ASU faced third-and-six, but already up by eight points and within field-goal range, the Sun Devils decided to run the ball to eat more clock.

Mike Bercovici handed it to tailback Kalen Ballage on a zone read, freezing edge defender Deon Hollins in the process. Ballage slammed into a cluster of blockers and defenders around the 20-yard line, before surging ahead to the first-down marker.

Game over, time to head back to Tempe and cele- ... Is he still going?

Now turned with his back facing the end zone, with the help of right tackle Billy McGehee and tight end Kody Kohl, Ballage was carrying a pair of UCLA defenders, still heading towards the goal line.

As more Bruins attempted to join in the scrum, offensive linemen Vi Teofilo and Nick Kelly, and Bercovici joined in the effort, moving the pile on, and before they knew it... paydirt.

It was only Ballage's second game of the season after missing the first three with mononucleosis. He finished the contest with 11 carries for 59 yards, including the game-cinching touchdown.

The play may not have been on par with the Jael Mary, but Ballage's "Moonwalk" score was the perfect end cap to a deserved 38-23 win for ASU against a very good opponent in UCLA.

#SunDevilMoments Seed No. 3: Ryan Hingst tosses the 10th No-hitter in ASU history

Needless to say, the Arizona State baseball team needed something, anything, to happen.

Coming into a late-March game against lowly Utah, the Sun Devils had dropped five straight games and were in danger of losing all momentum gained from a surprising 13-3 start to the year.

Then, Ryan Hingst stepped up.

Almost out of nowhere, the sophomore right-hander pieced together one of the greatest pitching performances in program history, methodically making his way through the Ute lineup time and again. He hit one batter and allowed two others to reach via walks, but when center fielder Andrew Shaps camped under the 27th and final out of the night, it was official.

Hingst had thrown the 10th no-hitter in Arizona State history.

It took the righty 121 pitches to complete the game, which, as head coach Tracy Smith put it after, was right where his limit was.

"121 (pitches) is what we set it at," joked Smith. "Thank God he got him on that last pitch, because we were going to take him out."

The no-hitter was the first since 2013, when Ryan Kellogg accomplished the same feat against Oregon State.

As the season progressed, Hingst's act proved to be even more impressive. While Utah was just 7-13 at the time, the team would go on to win the Pac-12 and take the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The no-hitter also seemed to spark the Sun Devils, who went on to win seven of their next eight series. Smith's young team ended up earning a No. 2 seed into the NCAA Tournament, eventually advancing to the Fort Worth Regional final before falling to host TCU.