Feb. 23, 2013
KINSTON, N.C. - Centerfielder David Baska chose a great time to hit his first-career home run. His ninth inning solo home run broke up a tie ballgame and lifted Air Force an 8-7 win over Navy Saturday night at the Freedom Classic at Grainger Stadium. It was Air Force's first win of the season and the 1,000th win in program history.
With the score knotted up at 7-7, Baska drilled the first offering from Navy reliever Stephen Moore (0-1) and sent the ball over the leftfield fence.
Sophomore right-hander Ben Yokley then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the win. With a runner on, Yokley struck out Navy leadoff hitter Brandon Beans looking to close out the game. The Falcons improved to 1-5 on the season and dropped the Midshipmen to 3-3.
The game featured five lead changes. Air Force and Navy traded runs in the first and the Mids jumped ahead 2-1 with a run in the second. Air Force scored three runs in the third to go back ahead 4-2.
Navy plated a run in the bottom of the third and Air Force scored one in the top of the fourth to make it a 5-3 game. Navy then tied the game up with two runs in the fifth and took the lead at 6-5 with a run in the seventh.
The Falcons scored two runs in the eighth to go back up 7-6 before Navy tied the game back up with a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Air Force had six hits on the night. Baska and senior leftfielder Alex Bast led the Falcons with two hits each. Senior rightfielder Garrett Custons and junior firstbaseman Seth Kline added hits as well.
Falcon starting pitcher Ben Bertelson pitched six innings, striking out eight, allowing five runs, three earned. Yokley (1-0) picked up the win, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings. Senior righthander Jack Hourin retired two batters in relief.
Navy starting pitcher Johnny Schoberl pitched 3.2 innings, striking out three and allowing five runs. The Midshipmen had 12 hits in the game. Third baseman Chris Campbell and centerfielder Jonathan Huggins had three hits each for Navy.
Air Force and Navy return to action tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 24, with a doubleheader. Game one is now slated for an 11 a.m. start.