Feb. 26, 2008
PUEBLO, Colo. - Matt Alexander's tenth-inning walk-off home run rallied Air Force (1-3) past Northern Colorado, 5-3, Tuesday afternoon in Hobbs Field at the Runyon Sports Complex. In a thrilling rally, the Falcons forced extra innings with a bases-loaded walk in the ninth.
With Air Force down 3-2, freshman Nathan Carter battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a bases-loaded walk to tie the game up. After Jake Allen led off the 10th with a single, Alexander drilled the second pitch he saw from Bear pitcher Jason Banks (0-2) over the center field wall for the walk-off win. Alexander was mobbed by teammates as he touched home plate.
The Falcons pitching staff held Northern Colorado (2-3) to six hits in the game, getting timely defense along the way. Michael Ruvolo (1-1) picked up the win with three shutout innings of relief. Alex Truesdale pitched four scoreless innings of relief, striking out four and Brad Pingel helped shut down a Northern Colorado rally in the seventh with back-to-back strikeouts with runners on.
Bear starter Joe Sawicki allowed two runs in five innings of work, striking out six. Sean Peery follwed with four innings of relief, allowing one run off two hits.
Air Force had nine hits in the game. Chay Derbigny went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base. Carter was 1-for-2, with two runs, and RBI and two stolen bases. Carter was also hit by a pitch in the left ear, but remained in the game and later came through with the bases loaded walk. The freshman came up big defensively, making a run-saving diving catch to end the second inning.
Andy Mees led UNC offensively, going 3-for-5 with a run and RBI.
Northern Colorado scored two in the first, while the Falcons manufacturing one in the bottom of the inning. Air Force tied the game up at 2-2 in the fifth when Derbigny doubled in Carter.
The Bears went back up by one in the seventh, as Mees had a two-out single to score Chad Murray.
Ben Ausbun started the Air Force rally in the ninth with a single. The bases were quickly loaded after Jason Griggs got hit by a pitch in the head and then Jon McMahon bunted the ball over the charging third baseman's head on a wheel play by UNC.
The Falcons return to action Friday, Feb. 29, with a three-game set at Mississippi State.