Feb. 29, 2004
MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Freshman Karl Bolt hit a grand slam and starter Paul Vignola fanned seven in six innings pitched to lead Air Force baseball to a 11-2 win over Murray State at the Service Academies Spring Classic at USA Stadium. The Falcons, who went 2-1 in the Classic, improve to 4-5 on the season.
The Falcons continued to get stellar pitching performances, this time by starter Paul Vignola, who improved to 1-1 on the season with the win. Vignola allowed just two runs on four hits while fanning a season-high seven batters in six innings pitched.
Murray State (1-5) starter Bart Peach (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on three hits in three innings pitched.
Eight different Falcons got a hit, with Bolt leading the way with four RBI. Colton Walter and Nathan DeRohan scored a pair of runs for AFA. Newton Derrick led the way for the Thoroughbreds with two of the team's five hits.
Air Force went right to work in the first inning, capitalizing on two Murray State errors and a pair of base hits to take a 3-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Josh Wolfram scored the first run of the game, completing the tail-end of a first and third double-steal. Nathan DeRohan then doubled to right center to score Colton Walter. Two batters later, Travis Fugler laced a single to left, scoring DeRohan from second.
The Falcons made the score 4-0 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Colton Walter led off the inning with a single up the middle and then stole second base. After Walter reached third on a passed ball, Mike Rose knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to center field.
In the fifth, Air Force blew the gates open by scoring seven runs--all with two outs--to take a 11-2 lead. Highlights of the fifth inning were a two-run single down the right field line by Ryan Fitzgerald that scored DeRohan and Rose, and a grand slam by Karl Bolt. Bolt drilled his first career homer by hitting a laser-beam shot that just barely cleared the fence down the right field line.
Air Force returns to action next weekend in Lubbock, Texas, taking on Texas Tech and Harvard in a three-way series.
Game notes: Josh Wolfram led off the game for this first time... Falcons scored a season-high three runs in the first inning... Murray State's run in the fourth inning snapped a string of 12 scoreless innings pitched by AFA.