Falcon Baseball Pitches Way To Doubleheader Sweep Of Colorado Christian
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force opened its 50th season of baseball in grand fashion, sweeping Colorado Christian, who is in its first season ever, in a doubleheader Saturday at Falcon Field. Air Force took game one, 5-0, and game two 2-1.
Three Air Force pitchers combined to allow just one run on nine hits, all singles, while striking out 19 in 14 inning pitched. Colorado Christain falls to 0-2 in its first two games ever in program history.
In game one, junior Mitch Brown produced one of the best pitching performances in recent Air Force history, tossing a one-hit seven-inning shutout. Brown struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed just three runners the entire game. The lone hit surrendered by Brown was a leadoff single by CCU's Ricky Walker in the second inning.
The Falcons put up three runs in the first inning with just one base hit and added two more in the third on one hit and two CCU errors. Air Force went to the small-ball, utilizing it's superior team-speed with three bunt hits and four stolen bases.
Sophomore Chay Derbigny made a stellar debut for the Falcons, going 3-for-4 with a run and RBI. Senior Price Paramore had the lone extra base hit on the day, hustling for a double on a ball hit up the middle.
In game two, seniors Kyle DePierre and Paul Vignola combined to hold the Cougars to one run on eight hits in the 2-1 win. Despite just two hits in the game, the Falcons manufactured just enough runs for the win.
The Falcons went ahead 1-0 in the first as Derbigny opened the game by walking and then stealing second. Geno Salazar followed by moving Derbigny to third with a ground out to second and then Paramore knocked in Derbigny with a sacrifice fly to right.
Colorado Christian got its first-ever run in program history, when Seth Rutt singled down the right field line in the second inning to score Walker from third. The Falcons went ahead in the third as Jon Polston scored from second base on a passed ball.
The Cougars had a chance to tie the game in the fifth on a single by Patrick Garcia, but Kyle Brink was thrown out at home on a bang-bang play at the plate, trying to score from second. Matt Musser's thrown from left was a few feet up the line at home, but Polston managed to block off Brink, who was knocked off line, and then Polston dove to tag Brink before he could get to the plate.
DePierre earned the win for AFA, striking out six in five innings pitched. DePierre allowed six hits, two walks and surrendered one run. Paul Vignola pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings to pick up his first-career save.
The Falcons' two hits came from Geno Salazar and Polston. Walker led CCU with two hits, but had to leave the game in the sixth due to an injured right hamstring.
The Falcons are off to their best start since beginning the season 7-0 in 2001.
Air Force returns to action Wednesday, Feb. 8, hosting Northern Colorado at Runyon Field in Pueblo, beginning at 3 p.m. The game was originally slated to begin at 5 p.m., but was moved up to accommodate UNC's travel plans.