Air Force Rallies Twice; Take Series With 11-8 Sunday Win Over South Dakota State
March 16, 2008
PUEBLO, Colo. - The Air Force baseball team rallied from 5-1 and 8-7 deficits for an 11-8 win over South Dakota State on a cloudy and cold Sunday at Hobbs Field in the Runyon Sports Complex. The Falcons take their first series of the season and improved to 7-9. The Jackrabbits fell to 5-9.
The Falcons received clutch hitting and relief pitching performances for the second consecutive game agains the Jacks.
Trailing 7-3 in the fifth inning and the bases loaded, South Dakota State opted to leave in starting pitcher Jared Koch to face Air Force cleanup hitter Addison Gentry. After swinging through a change up, Gentry took the second offering from Koch, another changeup, and hammered it over the right field fence for a grand slam which tied the game up.
After SDSU re-took the lead in the top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single, the Falcons came right back with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to jump ahead 11-8.
Chay Derbigny singled up the middle on a drawn-in infield to knock in Ben Ausbun and Jake Allen to put the Falcons ahead 9-8. The Falcons tacked on two more runs as Jacks second baseman Max Fenske muffed a grounder by Gentry to make it 11-8.
Relievers Colin Shepherd (1-0) and Michael Ruvolo combined to hold SDSU to just one run over the final four innnings. Shepherd picked up the win, allowing one run on one hit in three innings. Ruvolo picked up his third save of the season, and second in as many games, after retiring all six batters faced out in two innings of work. The Jacks went down 1-2-3 in the last three innings.
The Falcons had 14 hits on the day. Derbigny went 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBI. Gentry went 3-for-5 with two runs and six RBI. Nathan Carter added three hits and two runs scored. Air Force also swiped five bases on the day with Carter stealing three and Derbigny two.
South Dakota State had 11 hits in the game. Four players recorded two hits, with Stephen Turner hitting a two-run homer to go with his two hits. Reliever Christian Larson (0-3) took the loss. Koch went four innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits.
Falcon starter David Miller pitched three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out two.
Air Force held an early 1-0 lead but SDSU scored five in the fifth inning, highlighted by six consecutive hits in the inning. The Falcons rallied with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-3 game.
Air Force is now 7-3 on the season when holding opponents to under 10 runs. The Falcons have won six in a row in games holding opponents under ten.
Air Force returns to action Tuesday, March 18, hosting Colorado Christian at Falcon Field.