Feb. 12, 2006
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. -
Falcon Baseball Hosts Doubleheader Against York College
The Air Force baseball team (2-1) hosts York College (2-1) in a doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 12, beginning at 11 a.m. at Runyon Field in Pueblo, Colo. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at the Academy, but was moved due to snow in the Colorado Springs region.
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Air Force Head Coach Mike Hutcheon
Mike Hutcheon begins his third year as the head coach of the Falcons. Prior to his stint at the Academy, Hutcheon spent the last four years at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. and compiled a record of 130-78 during his tenure there. In 2002, Hutcheon was named the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Coach of the year after leading Bethel to the 2002 NCCAA national title. Prior to his stay at Bethel, Hutcheon coached at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., for five seasons where he went 109-62. Through 11 seasons as a head coach, Hutcheon has compiled a 256-234 record and is 17-94 at Air Force.
50 Years of Falcon Baseball
The Falcons are in their 50th season of baseball in 2006.
The Falcons' fielded their first varsity team in 1957, going 6-9 in 15 games.
Air Force is 905-1,066-3 all time for a .460 winning percentage.
The Falcons' winningest season came in 1964, when the team went 22-5, good for an .815 winning percentage.
The 1979 team had the most wins ever, going 33-13 for a .719 winning percentage.
The Falcons have produced seven baseball All-Americans in addition to five freshman All-Americans.
Recapping The First Three Games
On Wednesday, the Falcons dropped a 13-5 contest to Northern Colorado at Runyon Field. Six Air Force pitchers combined to hit eight UNC batters, tying a Mountain West Conference record. The Falcons scored all five of their runs in the fifth inning of the game.
Last Saturday, the Falcons swept Colorado Christian in a season-opening doubleheader at Falcon Field. In game one, Mitch Brown tosses a one-hit shutout, as the Falcons won 5-0. Brown struck out a career-high 11 batters in the win. In game two Kyle DePierre and Paul Vignola teamed to hold CCU to one run in a 2-1 win. DePierre struck out six and allowed the lone run in five innings pitched. Vignola pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings to pick up the save. The Falcons won the game despite collecting just two hits in the game.
York College, a NAIA school located in York, Neb., enters the weekend with a 2-1 record after opening the season last week with a three-game set at Div. II program Metro State. Nick Harlan is in his second year as head coach of York, ammassing 41 wins and 25 losses in his career. York went 39-24 a season ago.
The Falcons take on York College for the first-time ever.
Air Force is off to a slow start offensively, batting .189 through its first three games...sophomore leadoff hitter Chay Derbigny leads the team with a .333 batting average, to go with three runs scored and two stolen bases...the Falcons have seven stolen bases in eight tries...the Falcons have drawn 13 walks, averaging 4.3 free passes per game...senior Price Paramore has the lone extra base hit, a double, for AFA...Karl Bolt and Matt Ghigna are a combined 0-for-21 to start the season.
Air Force is fielding .970 as a team...catcher Jon Polston had two throwing errors attempting to pick off runners against Northern Colorad...Polston has already picked off three batters in 2006...all three of the Falcons' errors in `06 are throwing errors.
Air Force has a 4.70 team earned run average...the Falcons tied an MWC record by hitting eight batters vs. UNC...six Falcon pitchers, five of them freshmen, made their first-ever collegiate pitching appearance vs. UNC...Air Force had a 0.64 ERA against CCU, allowing just one run in 14 innings...CCU batted just .184 vs. the Falcons pitchers, who surrendered nine hits...Mitch Brown allowed one hit and struck out 11 in the 5-0 win in game one...Kyle DePierre fanned six in five innings for the win in game two...Paul Vignola earned his first-career save with two scoreless innings in game two...Air Force did not allow an extra base hit against CCU.
Air Force had three bunt hits in game one against CCU...leadoff hitter Chay Derbigny had two bunt hits and bunted his first three at bats of the game...the Falcons stole five bases in the series.
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, in it's first season in the conference, was selected to finish first, followed by a second-place tie by UNLV and San Diego State for second. BYU followed in fourth, New Mexico fifth and Utah sixth.
Falcons To Play Paul Mainieri's Notre Dame
When Air Force travels to Millington, Tenn., to take part in the annual Service Academies Spring Classic at USA Stadium, they will see a familiar face in the opposition's dugout. The Falcons open the tournament on Feb. 24, against perennial Big East conference powerhouse Notre Dame, guided by former Falcon skipper Paul Mainieri. Mainieri guided the Falcons to a 152-158 record in six years from 1989-94 and is the only Falcon coach ever to win 20 or more games in six consecutive seasons. Mainieri is 488-196-2 in 11 seasons at Notre Dame, averaging 44 wins a season there.
The Falcons head West to Mesa, Ariz., to take on Illinois-Chicago and Creighton Feb. 17-18 at Ho Ho Kam Park, the Spring Training site for the Chicago Cubs. Air Force takes on UIC on Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 18, immediately after playing Creighton at 10:30 a.m.