March 9, 2003
Air Force rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth but fell short to Monmouth University, 14-10, in a non-conference college baseball game Sunday, March 9, at the Academy's Field Field.
Air Force, 7-9 overall, scored first as Zach McAngus walked and scored on Tony Shockley's single in the first inning. The first three innings were dominated by the starting pitchers, Air Force's Johnny Koegel and MU's Andrew Palmieri. Koegel, the team's top returning starter, made his first appearance of the season after having off-season elbow surgery.
Monmouth, 1-5, took a 3-0 lead on Evan Clancy's hit a three-run homer off of Koegel in the top of the fourth and the Hawks never trailed. Monmouth scored five in the fifth off of Falcon reliever Ken Hodgson and added three more in the sixth. In the fifth, the Hawks took advantage of three walks, two wild pitches and an error. Mike St. Martine, Clancy and Frank Pilitowski drove in runs in the sixth for an 11-2 lead.
Air Force scored three in the bottom of the seventh as Bowie Frost hit a two-run homer to right field and Adam Howes hit a solo blast to centerfield. St. Martine hit a solo homer in the eighth and Marc Weres hit a two-run dinger in the ninth for a 14-5 lead.
The Falcons rallied for five runs in the ninth, but it was too little, too late. Howes and McAngus had RBI-singles and Mike Rose hit a two-run home run. The game ended with runners on first and second.
Base-running blunders in the late innings were costly for the Falcons. McAngus and Nate DeRohan were picked off in the seventh inning with the Falcons trailing 11-4. Rose was thrown out on a 5-3-5 double play trying to advance on a ground ball from second base. In the bottom of the ninth with one out and runners on first and second, Dan Petro's looping fly ball landed just inside the foul line and past the diving glove of Chuck Gookings. Trailing 14-10, Josh Phifer held up at third and Shockley held up at second. Petro rounded first and was nearly at second with Shockley still on second base. Clancy, MU's first-baseman, threw out Phifer at the plate for the second out. The game ended on Bowie Frost's ground out to third base.
Palmieri earned the win for the Hawks as he went six innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. Koegel took the loss despite a solid outing. He threw 61 pitches and gave up three runs on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
Rose led the Falcons offensively as he went 4-for-5 with two RBI, two doubles and a home run. Frost was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Petro and Shockley each had two hits. Lance Koenig and Pilitowski each had three hits for the Hawks. Clancy had a home run and four RBI.
The two teams have split the first two games in the three-game series. The rubber match is Monday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at Falcon Field.