Feb. 6, 2007
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Air Force (0-0) vs. York College (0-0)
Date: Doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7
Site: Falcon Field - USAFA
Mike Hutcheon (AFA) 25-131/4th year at Air Force; 264-266/13th year overall
Nick Harlan is 62-48 in his 3rd year at York
Series History:AFA leads vs. York 2-0
Air Force Baseball Opens 2007 Season Against York College
The Air Force baseball team opens it's 2007 season at home hosting York College in a mid-week doubleheader. The twinbill begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Academy.
Snow Affecting Season Already
Air Force was slated to open the season this past Saturday, Feb. 3, against Colorado Christian. The game was postponed, however, due to unplayable field conditions caused by seven consecutive weeks of snowfall along the Front Range region. Air Force was also originally scheduled to play York on Sunday, but the game was moved to Wednesday in anticipation of more favorable weather.
The 2007 Falcons
Air Force returns 10 letter winners, including five starters off the 2006 squad. The Falcons welcome 20 newcomers to the team, nine of whom are pitchers.
The 2006 Falcons
Air Force went 10-38 in 2006 and 1-21 in Mountain West Conference play, finishing seventh in the conference. The team's leading hitter was team MVP Karl Bolt, who led the team in nearly every statistical category, batting .314 with nine home runs and 30 RBI. AFA's top pitcher was Mitch Brown. Brown led the team in nearly every pitching category, going 3-10 with 51 strikeouts in 71.2 innings and posted a 5.65 earned run average.
- Air Force is 29-21 all-time in season openers.
- The Falcons are 11-5 in their last 16 season openers and have opened the season with wins each of the last two years.
- In 2006, Mitch Brown tossed a complete-game one-hitter, striking out 11 in the 5-0 win over Colorado Christian.
Scouting York College
- York College went 23-24 in 2006.
- The Panthers are a NAIA school located in York, Neb. that plays in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC).
- York's top returning hitter is senior outfielder Terrell Harbin, who batted .381 with eight homers and 36 RBI.
- The Panther's top returning pitcher is senior Derek Tuxhorn, who went 3-2 with 21 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched and posted at 6.42 ERA.
Series History vs. York
- Air Force leads the all-time series with York 2-0.
- AFA won both games of last year's doubleheader, taking game one, 2-1, and game two 4-3.
- Mitch Brown fanned 11 in game one against York.
Last Time Out
Air Force was knocked out of the 2006 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championships with a 26-1 loss to San Diego State on May 24 at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. Karl Bolt's ninth home run of the season was the lone score for the Falcons.
Who Are These Guys?
When the Falcons take to the diamond Wednesday, there will be several new faces in the starting lineup. With 20 freshmen new to the squad, coach Hutcheon anticipates starting as many as five frosh.
2006 Hitting/Offense Notes
Air Force batted .249 as a team in 2006.
Karl Bolt led the team with a .314 batting average. Bolt also led the team with 10 doubles, nine home runs, 30 runs and 30 RBI.
Chay Derbigny led the team with 12 stolen bases, 11 bunt hits and 14 hit-by-pitches.
2006 Pitching Notes
Air Force had a 10.69 team earned run average in 2006, which was a run and a half lower than the 12.18 ERA posted in 2005.
Mitch Brown led the Falcons with a 3-10 record and a 5.65 ERA, the lowest total by a Falcon since Jesper Stubbendorff had a 5.53 ERA in 2002.
Brown struck out 11 batters each in his first two starts and tossed a one-hitter in the season-opener against Colorado Christian.
Juan Perez led the team with 20 appearances.
Casey Allen (54.1 IP) and Jake Petro (50.1 IP) finished second and third on the team in innings pitched.
17 of the 22 conference starts were made by Allen, Brown and Petro.
2006 Defensive Notes
Air Force's .949 team fielding percentage was the second-best fielding percentage in the last 12 years for Falcon baseball.
Karl Bolt led the team amongst regulars with a .987 fielding percentage.
Geno Salazar led the team with 111 assists.
Dustin Smith fielded 1.000 with 65 perfect chances.
Falcons Tabbed 7th in MWC Preseason Poll
The Air Force Falcon baseball team was tabbed to finish seventh in the Mountain West Conference as voted by the seven head coaches and select media. TCU, the defending conference champion, was selected to finish first, followed by San Diego State in second and BYU in third. UNLV followed up in fourth, New Mexico in fifth and Utah in sixth.
The Falcons are slated to take on Northern Colorado for a three game set this Fri.-Sun., Feb. 9-11, in Greeley.
Season Standing Notes
Bolt Brothers Battle In Millington - When Air Force takes on Navy at the Service Academies Springs Classic at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn., brothers Karl and Kendall Bolt will face each other for the first time. Karl, a senior outfielder at Air Force and Kendall, a freshman shortstop at Navy, are both products of Lincoln HS in Stockton, Calif.
Falcon Brotherhood - Falcon sophomore right-hander Jake Petro is the second Petro to play for the Falcons. Older brother, Dan Petro, played for the Falcons from 2000-03 and was an all-conference catcher in `03.
Falcon Brotherhood part II - Brent and Gary Whiteman are the latest brother combo to play for Air Force. The last Falcon brother duo to play for Air Force were Derck and Dale Kasel in 2003. Both brothers enter the Academy as freshmen but Gary will be a sophomore in terms of eligibility after playing his freshman year at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona in 2005.
Closing in on 500 - The Falcons are six wins away from 500 wins all-time at Falcon Field. Air Force is 494-368 all-time at Falcon Field.
Finally, some lefties - After several years of just having one or two left-handers on the team, Air Force features eight players that can either hit or throw from the left side. Five batters and three pitchers hit and throw from the odd side and will give Mike Hutcheon some strategic possibilities.