Point Park alum Kelly homers in first inning to help Tigers to ALDS win over Yankees
Oct. 6, 2011
Photo courtesy of Detroit Tigers (2010).
MLB.com Video Highlight: http://tigers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19851309
Point Park University baseball alum Don Kelly homered in the first inning to help propel his Detroit Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees in the decisive Game 5 of the American League Divisional Series Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
Kelly, who was an NAIA All-American at Point Park from 1999-2001, started at third base and batted second in manager Jim Leyland's lineup.
In the top of the first, Kelly took the second pitch he saw, a down-and-in breaking ball from righty Ivan Nova, and the lefth-handed Kelly jacked his first career postseason homer to the seats in right field for the 1-0 lead.
As it turned out, Kelly started a bit of history of the Tigers the next batter, Delmon Young, homered on the very next pitch to make it back-to-back homers and a 2-0 Detroit lead. It was the first time in Tigers history that the team had consecutive homers in the postseason.
Kelly hit .364 in the ALDS with four hits in 11 at-bats. He collected two RBIs and the one home run. He and the Tigers will face the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series set to begin Saturday.
Kelly was drafted in the eighth round of the 2000 MLB draft by the Tigers. He made is big league debut with his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, and he was later picked back up by the Tigers. He earned a September call-up by the Tigers in 2009 after being the organization's MVP at the Triple-A level for the Toledo Mud Hens.
He has spent the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons in the big leagues with the Tigers.
In October 2010, Kelly was inducted into Point Park's Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame. His manager Leyland was on hand for the induction ceremony. Kelly still holds the Point Park record for career hitting at .413.