Kelly pushes scoreless innings streak to 24
GVSU starter earns third straight shutout, POW honor
Pitching is often as much about confidence as it is about "stuff" -- and Grand Valley State starter Patrick Kelly has plenty of both.
“He is really competitive by nature and every time he steps onto the field, he is doing everything he can to help his team win," said GVSU coach Jamie Detillion. "He is a really strong-willed kid and that is what gives him the bulldog mentality that he has on the mound."
Kelly, a redshirt junior, is in some kind of zone right now.
On Monday, the 5-foot-8 righty was named GLIAC North Pitcher of the Week for the third straight week after a dominant performance in GVSU’s 5-0 win at Wayne State last Friday. He is the third Laker since 2000 to throw seven shutout innings in three consecutive games.
“His performance has been exactly what this team needs, and it’s a very inspiring thing,” said fellow starter Aaron Jensen. “You see the success he is having and that makes you want it too. You want to be that same type of guy, you want to have that same type of performance, it’s a spark to the big flame that we want…He hasn’t given up a run in a conference start yet.”
It took Kelly just 65 pitches to go the distance in the seven-inning tilt while giving up three hits and no walks. The win moved his record to 3-1, dropped his ERA to 2.66 and gave him his fourth career shutout against the Warriors.
“The key to my success is throwing strikes and taking it one game at a time,” Kelly said. “Every time I go out there, it is really nice when I can command every pitch and, by being able to do that, it allows the hitters to put the ball in play and leads to my defense making plays behind me. I am very confident in them to make every play.
“I am not focused on awards. I am more focused on the team record and winning the game for my team; I just want to do my best and if the awards come, they come.”
There is really no superstition behind his recent success, he just listens to the same playlist before every start, steps out on the mound and takes care of business.
Kelly will look to keep his streak alive when the Lakers welcome Lake Erie for a four-game series in Allendale this weekend.
The doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.