Northern Iowa takes rubber game in series with Air Force, 10-6
The Northern Iowa baseball team won the deciding game of a three-game series with Air Force Sunday by defeating the Falcons, 10-6, at Falcon Field.
Six Panthers had multiple hits off AFA starter Matt Kaercher (2-3) and two relievers. Jason Simon had two doubles and two RBI, while Adam Boeve hit his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot in the fourth inning that tied the score at five. Aaron McEachran singled in the go-ahead run later in the inning and the Panthers never trailed the rest of the game. McEachran also drove in one of the Panthers' two runs in the top of the first inning to open the scoring.
The Falcons, 13-7, responded with three runs in the bottom of the first. Mike Thiessen drove in Brian LaBasco with a double, then scored along with Price Paramore on a single by Josh Phifer. Air Force added two more runs in the second when Phifer tripled, scoring Thiessen and Rob Arnett. Phifer was 2-for-5 on the day with four RBI. LaBasco was the only other Falcon with two hits, both singles.
Northern Iowa, 5-5, struck for a run in the third before its three-run explosion in the fourth. The Panthers added one in the fifth, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Air Force could muster only one run after the second inning, an RBI pinch-hit double by Adam Howes, his team-high ninth of the season.
Victor Saldana picked up his first win of the season for UNI by pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and just one run. He replaced starter Josh Habel, who gave up six runs on eight hits in two innings.
Air Force begins play in the Mountain West Conference next weekend with a three-game series at UNLV beginning Friday, Mar. 9.