Falcon Nine Split Pair of Games with VMI
Air Force, now 7-1 this season, jumped out to a quick lead in game one with three runs in the top of the first. With one out, Brian LaBasco singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mike Thiessen knocked in LaBasco with a single, then advanced to second on a walk to Gerremy Goldsberry. After a single by Derck Kasel loaded the bases, Thiessen and Goldsberry each scored on wild pitches from VMI starter Matt Liffick.
The Falcons held their 3-0 lead until VMI tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on three hits off Falcon hurler Matt Kaercher. Air Force regained the lead for good, however, by exploding for six runs in the top of the fifth. Thiessen led off the inning with his first home run of the season, and Price Paramore knocked in two runs with a pinch hit single to center field. LaBasco added an RBI single, and Thiessen and Goldsberry both walked with the bases loaded to give the Falcons a comfortable 9-3 lead.
VMI, 1-2 this season, scored one in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 9-4, but the Falcons put up three runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings. Paramore knocked in two more runs with a double in the sixth, while Daniel Petro and Brock Schnute added RBI singles in the seventh.
Thiessen went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored in game one. He extended his hitting streak to 15 games before going 0-for-1 with two walks in the second game. Petro was 3-for-5 and Paramore went 2-for-2 with a career-high four RBI in the first game. Kaercher won his second game of the season, allowing four runs, two earned, in five innings of work.
VMI pounded 14 hits in the second game off Falcon starter Johnny Koegel (1-1) and two relievers to hand Air Force its first loss of the season, 7-2.
AFA mustered only five hits, all singles, against Keydet pitchers Willie Lyles and John Sloan. VMI took command of the game in the top of the fourth inning with four runs on only three hits. Koegel retired the first two batters with ease, then gave up two consecutive walks. Three singles and an error later, the Falcons were down 5-1 and never threatened the rest of the game.
The two teams complete their four game series Sunday, Feb.11, with a single
game beginning at 11 a.m. EST at the New York Yankees spring training
facility in Tampa, Fla