March 2, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
vs. Northern Illinois (0-6) - Thursday, March 3 (4 p.m. MST)
vs. UC Riverside (4-4) - Friday, March 4 (4 p.m.)
vs. Cal State Bakersfield (5-2) - Saturday, March 5 (4 p.m.)
vs. Kansas (4-3) - Sunday, March 6 (10 a.m.)
- All four games at Surprise Baseball Complex (Kansas City Royals Spring Training Site) - Surprise, Ariz.
AF: Maj. Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) First year as a head coach.
NIU: Ed Mathey (North Central, 1986) is 210-240-1 in his 9th year at NIU, 415-411-3 in 18th year overall.
UCR: Doug Smith (UCR, 1975) is 185-153 in his seventh year.
CSUB: Bill Kemen (Redlands, 1970) is 44-69 in his third year at CSUB, 292-258-3 in his 10th year overall.
KU: Ritch Price (Willamette, 1978) is 282-223-2 in his ninth year at KU, 495-453-3 in his 16th year overall.
Last Time Out:
AF - Went 1-2 vs. Navy last weekend at Freedom Classic in Kinston, N.C.
NIU - Went 0-4 over the weekend in loses to BYU and Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.
UCR - Swept Sacramento State in three-game set last weekend.
CSUB - Swept Washington State in three-game set last weekend.
KU - Downed Iowa and took two from Southern Utah earlier in the week.
vs. NIU - First Meeting
vs. UCR - UCR leads 3-0
vs. CSUB - CSUB leads 4-0
vs. KU - KU leads 1-0
Falcons Travel To Surprise Cola-Cola Classic
The Air Force baseball team travels to Surprise, Ariz., March 3-6, to take part in the Coca-Cola College Baseball Classic hosted by Arizona State. The Falcons take on Northern Illinois, UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield and Kansas at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training Complex.
Air Force vs. Opponents
vs. Northern Illinois
- Air Force takes on Northern Illinois for the first time.
vs. UC Riverside
- Air Force is 0-3 all-time vs. UC Riverside.
vs. CSU Bakersfield
- Air Force is 0-4 all-time vs. CSUB, getting swept in a four-game series to open the 2010 season.
- Air Force is 0-1 all-time vs. Kansas.
- Kansas pitcher Shaeffer Hall tossed a no-hitter on Feb. 20, 2009 to down the Falcons 5-0 at the Service Academies Spring Classic in Millington, Tenn.
Scouting The Opponents
Northern Illinois is 0-6 on the season after dropping four games over the weekend to BYU and Texas Tech.
- The Huskies are batting .231, have an ERA of 6.59 and are fielding .939.
- Soph. 1B/DH Joe Etcheverry leads the team with a .385 average and four RBIs.
- Senior right-hander Zach Oates (0-2, 0.75) is NIU's top pitcher so far in 2011.
UC Riverside is 4-4 on the season sweeping Sacramento State.
- The Highlanders are batting .293, have an ERA of 2.23 and are fielding .972.
- Fr. OF David Andriese leads the team with a .462 average to go with five RBIs.
- Jr. right-hander Matt Andriese (0-0, 0.00) will start vs. AFA.
Cal State Bakersfield is 5-2 on the season sweeping Washington State.
- The Roadrunners are batting .347, have an ERA of 3.00 and are fielding .959.
- Jr. C Jeremy Rodriguez leads the team with a .552 average to go with nine runs scored.
- Senior right-hander Mike McCarthy (0-1, 2.77) will start against AFA.
Kansas is 4-3 on the season after defeating Iowa and taking two from Southern Utah early in the week.
- The Jayhawks are batting .180, have an ERA of 3.09 and are fielding .983.
- Jr. 1B Zach Elgie is KU's top hitter, with a .320 average to go with five RBIs.
- Senior left-hander Wally Marciel (1-1, 2.25) will start against AFA.
Falcons vs. Opponent Conferences
Air Force is 7-29 all-time vs. schools from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Air Force is 0-4 all-time vs. schools from the Big West Conference.
Air Force is 4-33 all-time vs. schools from the Big 12 Conference.
- Kansas freshman catcher Tom Hougland and Air Force sophomore second baseman Blair Roberts are natives of Parker, Colo. and attended Chaparral High School.
Recapping Last Week vs. Navy
- Air Force went 1-2 last weekend against Navy at the Freedom Classic in Kinston, N.C. The Falcons won game one, 8-2, but dropped the next two games, 6-4 and 13-3.
- The Falconss batted .257 in the series, had an ERA of 4.15 and fielded .941.
- Alex Bast was AFA's top hitter, batting .538 (7-for-13).
- Seth Kline hit his first-career homer for the Falcons and drove in four runs in the series.
- Starting pitchers Evan Abrecht and Sean Carley did not allow earned runs in six innings pitched each in their starts.
Abrecht and Carley Off To Fast Start
Air Force starting pitchers Evan Abrecht and Sean Carley are off to solid starts. Abrecht, a junior right-hander, is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and Carley, a sophomore right-hander, is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA. Both have pitched 12 innings in two starts, while Carley has 12 strikeouts to Abrecht's 10. Both pitchers have significantly improved upon their ERA's. Abrecht entered the season with a 8.82 career ERA and Carley had an 11.46 ERA as a freshman.
Starting Pitching Off To A Good Start
Air Force starting pitchers are off its best start in nearly a decade. The Falcon starting pitchers currently sport a 3.32 ERA, having struck out 27 in 33 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 10.16 ERA and had struck out 26 in 33.2 innings.
Relievers Off To Good Start As Well
The Air Force relief pitching corps has shown significant improvement as a group from 2010. Six relievers have sub-4.50 ERAs, with four below 3.00.
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.
Air Force welcomes 12 newcomers to the team, including eight freshmen.
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.
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.
The Falcons will play in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, March 11-13, in Winter Haven, Fla. The Falcons take on Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green, Bradley and Bucknell.