Air Force Takes Series With Another Wild Walk-off Win Over BYU
April 26, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally to a 11-10 win over BYU in a wild Mountain West Conference baseball game Saturday afternoon at Falcon Field. The Falcons improved to 15-25, 2-12, while the Cougars dropped to 16-26, 6-9.
K.J. Randhawa singled to center, scoring Nathan Carter for the game-winning run as the Falcon team erupted out of the dugout to mob both Carter and Randhawa. It was Air Force's second walk-off win in the series and their first MWC series win since taking 2-of-3 at Utah in 2005.
Trailing 10-8 in the ninth, Vai Schierholtz and Tyler McBride drew back-to-back walks. Nathan Carter then hammered the first pitch he saw from BYU reliever Brandon Michon, off the fence in left for a triple. On any other day, the ball would have been out of the park by a long shot, but with a 25 mile-per-hour wind blowing straight in from left, Carter would have to suffice with the two-run triple to tie the game.
Moments later, Randhawa came through with the single and game-winning RBI.
The Falcons overcame a tough day defensively, committing four errors. BYU also stuggled with its fielding committing three of its own.
What started as a pitchers duel turned into a high-scoring see-saw battle till the end. The score headed into the sixth inning was 1-1 before the teams scored runs in every one of the last four innings.
BYU took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the second. Josh Meents hit his first home run of the year in the fifth, a solo dinger off a hanging changeup to right to tie it up.
The Cougars seemed to take hold of the game in the sixth, when they scored four runs to jump ahead 5-1. But the Falcons responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut it to 5-3. The see-saw battle was well on its way as BYU scored one in the seventh and Air Force responded with two runs in the bottom to make it a 6-5 game.
Both teams scored three runs in the eighth and then BYU went up by two with a run in the top of the ninth before the wild turnaround in the bottom half of the inning.
Air Force reliever Michael Ruvolo (5-3) picked up the win with 3.2 innings of gritty relief, allowing one earned run while striking out three. Falcon starter Jake Petro turned in a solid effort, going 5.1 innings and striking out three batters.
Michon (0-3) took the loss for BYU. Cougar starter Blake Torgerson went 6.2 innings, allowing five runs off nine hits.
BYU had 13 hits on the day. J.T. Musso and Jonathan Cluff had three hits each for the Cougars.
Air Force returns to action Tuesday, April 29, hosting Colorado Christian to make up the April 16th game that was snowed out.