May 17, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - On an emotional senior day, Air Force capped-off the 2008 season with an 11-2 victory over UNLV in Mountain West Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Falcon Field. As fitting, it was a pair of seniors and the pitching of David Miller that helped the Falcons to their first series win over the Rebels since 2002.
The win puts Air Force's season record at 18-33 overall and 4-20 in MWC play. It was a vast improvement from the 2007 squad, which finished 8-44, 0-23.
The Falcons jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after three runs in the first and two in the second and never looked back. Miller (3-6) pitched the best game of his Air Force career, holding UNLV to two unearned runs on five hits in six-plus innings of work.
Air Force tied a Mountain West Conference game record with four triples in the game. Senior Jake Allen and freshman Nathan Carter both hit two triples apiece. Carter finishes the season with 10 triples, which is second all-time at Air Force and shattered the previous MWC freshman record of six.
The Falcons had 13 hits on the day. Allen led the way, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in his final game. Fellow senior Chay Derbigny was 1-for-4 on the day but made his one hit count, as he hit a two-run homer in the three-run first. Derbigny also stole his 31st base of the season, a new MWC record for a senior.
Brad Pingel also had a solid outing in relief for the Falcons, pitching three scoreless innings to pick up his first-career save.
The Falcons scored a run in the fifth, two in the sixth and three in the seventh. The top four hitters in the AFA lineup accounted for 10 of the teams runs. Carter and Derbigny scored two and K.J. Randhawa and Addison Gentry scored three. Gentry reached base four times on the day, drawing three of Air Force's nine walks on the day.
UNLV had nine hits on the day. Braden Walker went 3-for-4 and Michael Brenly 2-for-4 to lead the Rebels.
Prior to the game, Air Force honored its four seniors and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dr. Don Bird, who had served various positions with the baseball program the past 21 years, dating back to 1988. Seniors Allen, Derbigny, Josh Meents and Erol Kelter comprise the class of 2008.
- Air Force won two MWC series for the first time since 2002.
- The Falcons allowed just 11 runs in the series (nine earned for 3.00 ERA), it's lowest ever in a three-game MWC series and lowest in a three-game conference series since 1982 (allowed 10 vs. Wyoming).
- The Falcons batted .355 over the weekend and slugged .636 (8 doubles, 5 triples, 4 homers).
- AFA was excellent in the field as well, fielding .983 with just two errors in 116 chances.
- Air Force used just five pitchers in the series with the starter combining to throw 19.1 of the 27 innings.
- The Falcon bullpen combined to pitch 7.2 innings and did not allow a run.
- Carter was Air Force's top hitter on the weekend, batting .545 (6-for-11, with six runs, three triples to go with a .667 on-base percentage).
- Carter became the first Falcon to score 50+ runs since Reid Lamson scored 52 in 2005.
- Carter's six triples in MWC play is also a freshman record and second-most in a season