Courtesy of Ryan Callagy
Foster City’s Ryan Callagy fired a no-hitter Wednesday in a 5-0 win over South City.
For the third time this season, a Peninsula Joe DiMaggio pitcher has thrown a no-hitter.
Wednesday at Sea Cloud Park, Foster City-San Mateo right-hander Ryan Callagy fired a no-no in a 5-0 win over South City. Callagy became the first Foster City pitcher to go the distance this season, with four walks and a fielding error the only blemishes on the pitching gem. He threw 102 pitches throughout.
The final out of the game was a swinging strikeout on a curveball in the dirt. Catcher Michael Camel scooped the ball up and fired to first base to spark a celebration along the first-base line.
“I just wanted to get out there and do the best I could for my team,” Callagy said. “They’ve been doing well and I had been playing elsewhere with my travel team. So, I wanted to come back and help the team.”
Foster City, with a 6-10 record, has had its struggles this year. Currently in the cellar of the South Peninsula League, the team was coming off a strong showing at the Keith Connelly Fourth of July Tournament, advancing to the championship game only to fall to champ Tri-County.
Callagy didn’t make the trip to Napa for the tourney as he was playing a five-game road trip with his travel-ball team, Game Prep. Previous to Wednesday’s appearance, he last pitched July 3 in a two-inning relief stint in Los Angeles.
“I think I got a pretty good rest,” Callagy said. “My arm felt good and I felt loose.”
Having recently completed his sophomore year at Serra, Callagy had never started prior to this summer. With the Padres junior-varsity squad this year, he was utilized exclusively in relief. In 2013, with the freshman squad, he did not pitch while recovering from an arm injury; he joined the team midway through the season as a shortstop.
For Foster City this season, he has split time between the rotation and the bullpen. But the only games he had finished prior to Wednesday were in closing situations as a reliever. In fact, Foster City manager Jimmy Goethals has employed a strict limit on his starting pitchers this season. No starter had worked more than four innings in a game prior to Wednesday. The plan for Callagy’s gem, initially, was the same. But after four innings of work, everyone in the Foster City dugout recognized there was a no-hitter at stake, according to Callagy. So, without any discussion, Callagy took the mound in the fifth.
“My team was pretty quiet about it and didn’t want to really say anything so I wouldn’t start to think about it,” Callagy said.
Come the seventh inning, Callagy hadn’t allowed a single South City base-runner to reach scoring position. But as fatigue began to play a factor, he had to battle through the final frame. The seventh inning started with a groundout to third baseman Patrick O’Regan. Callagy then walked the next batter. He induced one of nine groundouts in the game to record the second out on a fielder’s choice to Ricki Urata. Then Callagy walked the next batter to put runners at first and second with two outs.
“I knew what was going on and I didn’t want to give them anything to hit,” Callagy said. “So, I started pitching to the corners and using my curveball a lot.”
The curveball paid off on the final strikeout pitch. So did having a veteran presence behind the plate. Camel, coming off his freshman season at Cañada College, is more accustomed to patrolling center field. Because of a lack of depth at the catching position for Foster City this season, however, Camel has seen a handful of games behind the dish.
“It was a very significant contribution,” said Dennis Millstein, President of Foster City Baseball. “He would get the ball and it was back in Ryan’s hand immediately. He helped set a great tempo.”
Callagy’s father, Mike, was at Sea Cloud Park during the no-hitter. However, he did not witness the gem because he was coaching the Foster City Warriors — for which his younger son Kevin plays — on another field. He was informed of the no-hitter just after it ended.
“I wish somebody would have grabbed me and told me he was throwing a no-hitter,” Mike Callagy said.
He didn’t miss a manic celebration though. As Millstein put it, Foster City prefers to keep it classy.
“You would have thought the celebration would have been louder,” Millstein said. “But [Callagy] was happy, just humbly so.”
The two previous no-hitters this season were both thrown on the same day. On June 22, Daly City’s Max Read threw a no-no in a 3-0 win over Trinity at Riordan High School. Concurrently, San Francisco Irish pitcher Morgan Monashefsky fired a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the San Francisco Wildcats at Fairmont Park.