March 9, 2013
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Air Force baseball fell to Gardner-Webb 7-6 in 11 innings Saturday afternoon at John Henry Moss Stadium. The Falcons dropped to 5-9 on the season, while the Runnin' Bulldogs improved to 10-3-1.
Holding a 6-5 lead with two outs in the ninth inning, the Falcons allowed a home run to Gardner-Webb first baseman Brad Collins to make it a tie ballgame. The Bulldogs scored the game-winning run in the 11th on a two-out, bases-loaded error.
The loss spoiled a furious rally back from a 5-0 deficit for Air Force. After allowing Gardner-Webb to jump ahead with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth, the Falcons plated four runs in the sixth and took the lead with two runs in the seventh.
The Falcons out-hit Gardner-Webb for the second-straight day, 12-10. The middle of the lineup did most of the damage for AFA, as the 3-4-5 hitters, Seth Kline, Peter Johnson and Matt Thorne, combined to go 7-for-16 with five runs scored. Kline and Johnson had two hits and two runs each, while Thorne had three hits and two RBIs.
The Falcons stole five bases on the day. Thorne had three swipes and Alex Bast added two.
Alex Baker (1-2) took the loss with three innings pitched in relief. Starting pitcher Ben Bertelson struck out nine in five innings. The Falcons also got scoreless relief outings out of Ben Yokley, Jack Hourin and Dillon Freeman.
Collins led Gardner-Webb with three hits, two runs and two RBIs. Jeff Howell (1-0), who picked up the save Friday, got his first win of the season in relief. Bulldog starting pitcher Andrew Barnett, who entered the game having allowed just one earned run in 20 innings pitched (0.45 ERA), allowed four runs in five innings.
The series finale is tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST.