Pitching Pushes Air Force Past Northern Colorado, 6-3

April 21, 2009

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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Three Air Force pitchers combined to hold Northern Colorado to six hits in a 6-3 non-conference baseball game Tuesday afternoon at Falcon Field. The win improved the Falcons to 12-24, while the Bears fell to 9-26.

Freshman left-hander Michael Ceci (1-1) picked up his first-career win, scattering five hits and allowing three runs in six quality innings in the start. Ceci was at his best over his final two-plus innings, retiring the last seven batters he faced. Senior Jake Petro picked up right where Ceci left off with 1.2 scoreless innings in relief, striking out four.

Freshman Aaron Kurcz closed out the game by retiring a batter in the eighth and a pitching a scoreless ninth for his fifth save of the season. The trio combined to hold Northern Colorado to just one hit over the final five innings of play.

Bear starter Cameron Tallman (1-4) took the loss, allowing five runs off eight hits, while striking out five in the loss.

Air Force had nine hits in the game, highlighted by a three-run homer by freshman Blair Kessler. Kessler now has five hits on the season, all home runs. Jon McMahon added two stolen bases and two hits, including the RBI that would keep Air Force ahead for good.

Trailing 1-0 after a Erik Hegstad homer in the second inning, Kessler launched a three-run shot over the tall part of the fence in right-center, putting the Falcons ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the inning. McMahon added his two-out RBI-single in the third, that scored K.J. Randhawa, making it a 4-1 game.



Freshman Blair Roberts had two hits and a two-out RBI single as well. Randhawa also had two hits for the Falcons.

Northern Colorado made it a 4-3 game after Phil Santucci hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Air Force then added insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth and seventh innings.

The Falcons return to action tomorrow, traveling up to Greeley to take on Northern Colorado again. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. Internet radio and live stats will be available at uncbears.com.

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