March 15, 2008
PUEBLO, Colo. - Air Force baseball split its doubleheader with South Dakota State Saturday at Hobbs Field at the Ruyon Sports Complex. The Falcons dropped a 13-1 loss in game one, but rallied with clutch pitching and hitting to take game two 5-3.
In game one, the Falcons (6-9) committed four errors and were held to two hits in the 13-1 loss that was shorted to seven innings due to the ten-run rule. The Jackrabbits (5-8) scored all 13 of their runs in the first five innings to jump out to the commanding lead.
Air Force plated its lone run in the first inning, as Nathan Carter led off the inning by doubling off the center field fence and was later driven in by Chay Derbigny. Derbigny also had the Falcons' other hit on a drag bunt.
South Dakota State had 16 hits in the game, with five players recording multiple hits. Billy Stitz drove in four runs and Nick Adams knocked in three. Jacks starter Caleb Thielbar (2-1) picked up the win, striking out five and allowing a run in 5.2 innings pitched.
In game two, the Falcons got another stellar pitching performance from Jake Petro and several Falcons came up with clutch hits to rally the Falcons to a 5-3 win over SDSU.
Petro (1-2) picked up his first win of the year, allowing two runs while striking out a career-high seven batters in five innings pitched. Petro pitched his way out of potential trouble in both the fourth and fifth innings to hold a 3-2 lead after the top of five.
Michael Ruvolo picked up his second save of the season with two innings of relief.
The Jacks took an early 1-0 with a run in the second. The Falcons tied the game up in the third with a run and broke the game open in the fourth with several clutch hits. Josh Meents started a two-our rally in the fourth by drawing a walk after fouling off several close pitches.
Jon McMahon then got hit by a pitch and Vai Schierholtz drew a walk to load the bases. Jake Allen then stepped up and laced a single to left on a full count to score Meents and McMahon to put the Falcons ahead 3-1.
After SDSU got a run back in the top of the sixth, the Falcons tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. K.J. Randhawa led off the inning with a triple to right-center and Chay Derbigny followed with a single up the middle with the infield drawn in to knock in Randhawa. Derbigny would get to second on a botched pickoff at first and then stole third on the next pitch. Addison Gentry then single to left to score Derbigny.
Jackrabbit starter Robert Butler (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs in four innings pitched.
Air Force and South Dakota State wrap up the series tomorrow, March 16, at 11 a.m. back at Runyon.