March 6, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - Despite rallying to erase an 11 run deficit--all in one inning--the Air Force baseball team could not stop the Harvard bats, falling to the Crimson, 25-20, in a non-conference neutral-site slugfest at Dan Law Field. The two teams combined for 45 runs, 49 hits and seven errors.
Five Crimson (1-0) batters had four-or-more hits, led by Lance Salsgiver and Zak Farkes, who combined to go 9-for-16 with a pair of home runs each, nine runs scored and eight RBI. Harvard had 29 hits as a team.
Air Force (4-7) had four players record three-or-more hits, led by Nathan DeRohan and Mike Rose. DeRohan set career-high's with a team-leading five hits and five runs scored. Rose went 4-for-5 with a career-best four RBI. Colton Walter and Karl Bolt added three hits apiece. Air Force had 20 hits as a team.
Jason Brown (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Crimson pitching 4.1 innings. Harvard starter Matt Brunnig pitched two innings, giving up seven runs.
Nathan Lowry (0-1) takes the loss for the Falcons, allowing six runs in two innings pitched. AFA starter Paul Vignola was roughed up for eight runs on nine hits in 1.1 innings of work. Mitch Brown fanned six batters in five innings of relief.
Harvard, playing in its first game of the season, had no apparent offseason rust as the Crimson scored three runs off four hits in the first inning against Vignola to take an early 3-0 lead.
Harvard was not done however, as they knocked Vignola out from the game in the second with five consecutive base hits and five runs. The Crimson scored three more runs in the inning of Falcon reliever Nathan Lowry to make it a 11-1 ballgame. In all, Harvard had eight base hits in the inning as eight consecutive Crimson scored.
Is improbable as it seemed, Air Force was not out of the game as the Falcons rallied for 11 runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 12-12. AFA sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning, racking out seven hits and was aided by three Harvard errors. Highlighting the inning was Ryan Fitzgerald's massive three-run homer that cleared a 30-foot high tree and the road behind the left field fence.
The Crimson came right back in the top of the fourth by scoring four runs--two by way of back-to-back homers from Salsgiver and Farkes--to retake a 16-12 lead.
Both teams traded runs in the fifth to make it a 17-13 Harvard lead.
Harvard made it 19-15 on Schuyler Mann's two-run homer in the top of the eighth. The Crimson then proceeded to add six more runs in the top of the ninth, to make it a 25-15 games.
The Falcons scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to end the scoring at 25-20.
Air Force concludes its stay in Lubbock with a pair of games tomorrow (Sun. March 7) against Harvard and Texas Tech. The Harvard game will begin at 9:30 a.m. (CST) and the Tech game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game (Aprox. 1:00 p.m.).
Game notes: Mike Rose extended his consecutive games RBI steak to 10 games with his sacrifice fly in the first inning... Falcons are 2-2 in neutral-site games.