Feb. 27, 2004
MILLINGTON, Tenn. - A six-run third inning by Kentucky highlighted a 11-1 loss for the Air Force baseball team in its opening game at the Service Academies Spring Classic at USA Stadium. AFA falls to 2-5 on the season and will play Navy tomorrow.
Despite getting four base hits in the bottom of the first inning, Air Force could only get one run out of it--on Mike Rose's single to left that scored Nathan DeRohan from second--to take an early 1-0 lead.
After holding the Kentucky offense at bay through the first two innings--needing just 15 pitches to get the first six batters of the game out--Falcon starter Ken Hodgson ran into some trouble in the third. The Wildcats' bats woke up in the fifth, as they scored six runs off five hits, highlighted by Casey Gilvin's grand slam, to take a 6-1 lead.
Kentucky added a run in the fifth, two more in the seventh and one more in the eighth to extend its lead to 11-1. The game was called after eight innings due to the 10-run rule.
Air Force had opportunities to score but failed to get the timely hits, stranding the bases loaded in the first and fifth innings. After surrendering the four hits in the first, Kentucky starter Craig Snipp settled down to allow just one Falcon hit in the next four innings. Snipp improved to 1-1 on the season, fanning five batters on one run in five innings pitched.
Hodgson fell to 1-2 on the season, yielding nine runs, six earned, while striking out two. Freshman Nathan Lowery pitched the final two innings in relief for AFA.
The Falcons had a season-low seven hits, all singles. DeRohan led the way offensively for Air Force, going 1-for-2 with a pair for walks.
Air Force returns to action tomorrow (Sat., Feb 28) at 1 p.m. (CST) taking on Navy.
Game notes: Air Force is now 0-2 all-time against Kentucky... AFA head coach Mike Hutcheon was a graduate assistant coach and Kentucky head coach John Cohen was an outfielder on the 1989 Mississippi State baseball team... Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Rose extended their hitting streaks to five games... Karl Bolt and Colton Walter snapped their five game hitting streaks... AFA was 2-for-4 in pinch-hitting situations, with Jason Brown and Bryan Zumbro both hitting first-pitch singles to start the seventh inning.