March 23, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force baseball defeated UNLV, 10-7, in its Mountain West and home-opener Friday afternoon at Falcon Field. The win improved the Falcons to 5-14, 1-0 while UNLV dropped to 10-12, 0-4.
Clutch hitting by the middle of the lineup, coupled with another strong starting pitching performance out of Cameron White (2-3), helped AFA to the win.
With Air Force trailing 3-1, the Falcons took control of the game with a four-run fifth inning to jump ahead 5-4. The Falcons tied the game on first baseman Seth Kline's two-run triple and took the lead when center fielder Alex Bast hit a sac-fly to score Kline.
A four run eighth put the Falcons up 10-4. The added insurance runs proved to be important ones as UNLV put up a rally with three runs in the ninth.
The Falcons had a season-high 12 hits on the day, with the 3-4-5 hitters of catcher Garrett Custons, Kline and Bast collecting eight of those hits. Kline led the way, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Custons continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Bast went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
After a rough start, White settled down and kept UNLV at bay. The Rebels put up two runs in the first and one in the second. After the second, White held UNLV to just one more run over the next five innings. At one point White retired 11 in a row. The sophomore right-hander finished the day with five strikeouts in seven innings pitched.
UNLV had 14 hits in the game. Cleanup hitter Brandon Bayardi led the offense, going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Rebel starting pitcher Joe Robinson (2-3) took the loss, allowing six runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
Game two of the three-game series is tomorrow, Saturday. First pitch is 1 p.m.