Falcon Baseball Takes On Navy at Freedom Classic

    Senior 1B Parker Mayo.
    Senior 1B Parker Mayo.

    Feb. 24, 2011

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    Schedule
    vs. Navy - Friday, Feb. 25 (6 p.m. EST)
    vs. Navy - Saturday, Feb. 26 (2 p.m.)
    vs. Navy - Sunday, Feb. 27 (12:30 p.m.)
    - All three games at Grainger Stadium - Kinston, N.C.

    Live Stats:
    www.goAirForceFalcons.com

    Live Audio:
    None

    The Coaches:
    AF: Maj. Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) First year as a head coach.
    Navy: Paul Kostacopolous (Providence, 1987) 149-117-3, 6th year at Navy. 653-446-5, 21th year overall.

    Last Time Out:
    AF - Went 2-2 to open season at Texas State Tournament
    Navy - Swept by Presbyterian to open season and dropped midweek contest at Maryland.

    Series History:
    AF leads 13-12

    Last Meeting:
    Navy took two of three games at neutral-site series in Savannah, Ga., Feb. 26-28, 2010.

    Falcons Take On Navy at Freedom Classic
    The Air Force baseball team travels south to take on Navy in the Freedom Classic, Feb. 25-27, in Kinston, N.C. Live stats will be available for all three games.

    Series History vs. Navy
    - Air Force has played Navy 25 times, with AF leading the series 13-12.
    - The two teams first met on March 3, 1990, where the Falcons swept a doubleheader, 9-1, 3-0, at the Service Academies Spring Classic.
    - Air Force is 28-19 against service academy schools, going 16-6 all-time against Army.

    Air Force vs. Patriot League
    - The Falcons are 29-21 all-time in games against Patriot League schools.

    Scouting Navy
    - Navy went 0-3 to open the season at Presbyterian and dropped a midweek contest at Maryland.
    - The Midshipmen are coming off a 30-21 season in 2010.
    - The Midshipmen are led offensively by junior outfielder Andrew Hahn, who is batting .235 with seven RBIs. Sophomore right-hander Ben Nelson was Navy's opening day starter and is coming off a 5-3 season with 2.34 ERA as a freshman.
    - Navy is batting .226 as a team and fielding .973. The pitching staff has a 10.97 ERA.

    Navy-Air Force Connections
    - Navy sophomore RHP Ben Nelson and Air Force sophomore RHP Matt Zettler are both native of Winter Springs, Fla., and were teammates at Winter Springs High School.

    Last Year vs. Navy
    Game One - Air Force baseball dropped a 17-5 ballgame to Navy. Navy racked up 20 hits on the day, including two homers by Mike Hoosier and third by Michael Speciale. Hoosier was 3-for-4 on the day with five RBIs and Speciale went 3-for-6 with four RBIs. Steven Soares also had three hits. Air Force had 10 hits on the day, getting home runs from freshman Johnathon Bramble and senior Addison Gentry. Gentry and senior Matt Alexander had two hits each. Freshman Garrett Custons also stole a pair of bases. Falcon starter Alex Truesdale (0-2) went five innings, allowing seven runs, while striking out five. Navy jumped ahead 6-0 after a five-run third inning and would later put the game out of reach with a seven run seventh inning.

    Game two - Air Force baseball downed Navy 12-4 for its first win of 2010. After squadering two early leads, the Falcons scored nine unanswered runs to pull away. The Falcons broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the sixth and blew the gates wide open with a seven-run seventh. The Falcons broke out of their early season offensive funk with a 17 hits. Freshman shortstop Matthew Roberts led Air Force with four hits out of the nine slot of the lineup. Freshman catcher Garret Custons and senior second baseman K.J. Randhawa had three hits and senior designated hitter Matt Alexander had two hits. Both Alexander and Randhawa also drove in three runs each. Freshman right-hander Sean Carley (1-1) picked up his first-career win for the Falcons, holding Navy to three runs in seven innings, while striking out seven. Sophomore righty Evan Abrecht and freshman left-hander Kincaid Koehler closed out the game with one inning of relief each. The Falcons were perfect in the field, while Navy committed four errors. All nine starters in the AFA linep collected a base hit

    Game three - Air Force lost to Navy, 10-9, in a wild baseball game Sunday afternoon at Grayson Stadium. Navy broke an 8-8 tie with two runs in the top of the 11th. Air Force was able to respond with a run in the bottom of the inning but could not overtake the Midshipmen. Navy jumped ahead 5-0 after two innings of play. The Falcons responded by scoring eight consecutive runs, highlighted by a five-run seventh, to go ahead 8-5. The Mids rallied with two runs in the eighth and tied it in the ninth with a run, sending the game into extra innings. Despite committing five errors to Air Force's none, Navy was able to come out with the win. The Midshpmen had 18 hits on the day, with Matthew Curley going 4-for-4 two runs and two RBIs. Alex Azor and Kendall Bolt also had three hits for Navy. Air Force had 10 hits in the game. Senior first baseman Addison Gentry led the way, going 3-for-5 two runs scored. Nathan Carter and Matthew Roberts collected two hits each. Navy reliever Tyler Mapes (1-0) earned the win with Joel Rinehart picking up the save. Sophomore Evan Abrecht (0-2) took the loss in 3.1 innings of relief for Air Force. Freshman right-hander Stephen Colangelo went three innings in the start, allowing five runs while striking out two. The Falcons also got a strong relief outing out of freshman Alex Baker, who did not allow a run in four innings of work. Freshman Matt Zettler also pitched in relief for AFA.

    Recapping Last Week at Texas State Tournament
    - Air Force went 2-2 to open the 2011 season at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas.
    - The Falcons defeated Missouri State 7-2 Friday, lost to Nebraska 8-1 Saturday and split its games Sunday, defeating Washington 16-10 and falling to Texas State 9-4.
    - The Falcons batted .296, had an ERA of 4.89 and fielded .943 on the weekend.
    - Senior Nathan Carter led the Falcons offensively, batting .400 (6-for-15) with a homer and six RBIs.
    - Sophomore Garrett Custons scored eight of the 10 times he reached base.
    - Senior Parker Mayo hit two home runs on the weekend.
    - Freshman Patrick Lobo batted .714, going 5-for-7 with four RBIs.
    - Sophomore Alex Bast hit his first-career homer vs. Missouri State.

    Starting Pitching Off To A Good Start
    Air Force got excellent starting pitching at the Texas State Tournament.
    - The group of junior Evan Abrecht, sophomore Sean Carley and junior Michael Ceci each pitched six-plus innings in the Falcons' first three games. It marked the first time since 2007 that Air Force got three consecutive starts of six-plus innings from its starting pitching.
    - Abrecht, Carley and Ceci allowed just seven runs off 17 hits in 19 combined innings for a stellar 3.32 ERA.

    Relievers Off To Good Start As Well
    The Air Force relievers also had a strong weekend effort at the Texas State Tournament.
    - Six AFA relievers did not allow an earned run.
    - Sophomores Alex Baker and Stephen Colangelo had two scoreless outings each.

    First Win Over Pac 10 School Since 1990
    Air Force's 16-10 win over Washington was its first win over a Pac-10 conference school since 1990, a span of 21 years. The last team Air Force defeated from the Pac was none other than Washington at the Seattle Kingdome.

    Coach Kaz In First Year As Head Coach
    Maj. Mike Kazlausky makes his head coaching debut for the Falcons vs. Missouri State. Coach "Kaz" is the first Academy grad/player to be the head coach at Air Force. Kazlausky, a 1991 grad. is Air Force baseball's first military coach since Capt. Jim Hanley in 1988.

    Quick Recap of 2010
    Air Force went 13-42 overall in 2010. The Falcons were 3-20 in Mountain West Conference play for a sixth place record.

    Carter Named Team Captain For 2011
    Senior outfielder Nathan Carter is the team captain for the 2011 season. A three-year starter, Carter is Air Force's leader amongst returners with 158 career hits, 141 runs, 20 homers and 79 RBIs. His 26 career triples is first all-time at Air Force and five more than the next closest player.

    Falcons With MLB Ties
    Air Force features a pair of seniors that have family ties to Major League Baseball. Seniors Nathan Carter and Vai Schierholtz have older brothers on MLB rosters. Carter's brother, Chris, was an outfielder for the New York Mets last year and is now with the Tampa Bay Rays. Schierholtz's brother, Nate, is an outfielder for the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. Carter and Schierholtz both hail from the East Bay region of Northern California and attended high schools just 10 miles apart from each other (Carter - De La Salle HS in Concord and Schierholtz - San Ramon Valley HS in Danville).

    All Div. I Slate
    Air Force's 2011 schedule is entirely vs. Div. I baseball teams for only the second time ever in the programs' 54 year history. The other season was 2005.

    Falcons Play First 15 On Road
    The Falcons will play their first month of baseball away from Falcon Field. The Falcons will play 15 games over four weeks on the road. Air Force's first home game is a doubleheader vs. Creighton on Wednesday, March 16.

    Tall Pitching
    Air Force features six pitchers that stand 6-foot-3 or taller, including five that are at least 6-foot-4. Junior right-hander Vince Capra is Air Force's tallest player at 6-foot-6.

    Conference Realignment On the Horizon
    Air Force will play final conference games vs. Utah and BYU in 2011. Utah will join the Pac 10 (to become the Pac 12) and BYU will join the West Coast Conference (independent in football) in 2011-12. There will be just five baseball programs in the MWC in 2011-12. In 2012-13, the Mountain West will become a six team league, with the additions of Fresno State and Nevada and the departure of TCU to the Big East Conference.

    Up Next
    The Falcons will play in the Surprise Coca-Cola Tournament, hosted by Arizona State, March 3-6, in Surprise, Ariz. The Falcons take on Northern Illinois, UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield and Kansas.

     

     

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