March 15, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (6-9) vs. Creighton (12-3)
vs. Creighton - 11 a.m. doubleheader
Falcon Field - USAFA, Colo.
Free admission for all Falcon baseball home games.
AF: Maj. Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) First year as a head coach.
Creighton: Ed Servais (Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1981) is 266-152 in his eighth year at CU and is 448-234-1 in his 16th year overall.
Last Time Out:
AF - Went 2-2 at RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Auburndale/Winter Haven, Fla. last weekend.
Creighton - Swept South Dakota St. in a three game set over the weekend.
Creighton leads 18-6
Air Force swept a doubleheader at Creighton last year.
Falcons Host Creighton In Wednesday Doubleheader
After 15 straight games on the road to start the season, the Air Force baseball team opens its home slate, hosting Creighton this Wednesday, March 16, for a doubleheader. Game one begins at 11 a.m. Live stats will be available for both games.
Air Force vs. Creighton
- Creighton leads the series 18-6.
- The two teams first met on May 16, 1970, with the Falcons winning 2-1 at Creighton.
Scouting The Creighton
Creighton is 12-3 on the season after sweeping South Dakota State over the weekend.
- The Jays are batting .284, have an ERA of 2.93 and are fielding .977.
- So. IF Alex Staehely leads the team with a .367 average to go with a homer and 16 RBIs.
- Sr. LHP Greg Hellhake (2-1, 5.65) and Jr. RHP Brandon Koenigstein (0-0, 5.91) are slated to start vs. AFA.
Air Force-Creighton Connections
- Creighton has four players on its roster from Colorado:
Fr. LHP Ty Blach - Centennial/Regis Jesuit HS
Jr. Erik Mattingly - Lakewood/Bear Creek HS
Jr. RHP Reese McGraw - Boulder/Fairview HS
Jr. C Scott Thornburg - Lakewood/Mullen HS
Last Year vs. Creighton
Air Force swept both games of a doubleheader at Creighton April 27, 2010, taking game one, 4-3, and rallied to win game two, 6-2.
In game one, Matt Alexander's two-run double in the sixth inning lifted the Falcons to the 4-3 win. With the game knotted up at 2-2, Alexander drove in K.J. Randhawa and Garrett Custons to put the Falcons up by two.
Creighton pushed across a run in the sixth, but Evan Abrecht was able to throw a scoreless seventh to pick up his second save of the season. Andrew Loyd (2-0) picked up the win in relief.
Falcon starter Ben Bertelson gave the Falcons 4.2 strong innings, holding the Jays to just two runs off three hits. Bertelson also struck out a career-high five batters. Alex Baker also pitched in relief.
The Falcons had just five hits in the game, but made them count. Randhawa led the Falcons with two hits, two runs and an RBIs. Blair Roberts also added a triple.
Jack VenLeur (2-4) took the loss in relief for Crieghton. Starter Mark Winkelman went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs. The Jays had five hits in the game. Scott Thornburg and Carson Vitale had two hits each.
In game two, the Falcons erased a 2-1 deficit with a four-run sixth inning. Alexander came through once again in the sixth with the game-tying RBI. Nathan Carter then followed with a three-run homer to put AFA ahead. The Falcons also added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Abrecht threw the final 1.1 innings in relief for his second save on the day. Jack Hourin (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Starter Michael Ceci went one inning.
The Falcons also got clutch relief pitching from Todd Del Toro, who pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. The Falcon relievers did not allow a run in the final six innings of game two.
Air Force had seven hits in the game. Addison Gentry led the way, going 3-for-4 with a run and RBI. Carter followed with two hits, two runs and a double.
Creighton was led offensively by Elliot Soto and Jimmy Swift, who had two hits each. Reliever Matt Patterson (1-2) took the loss. Jays' starter Mike Nihsen went one inning.
Falcons vs. Missouri Valley Conference
- Air Force is 7-30 all-time vs. schools from the Missouri Valley Conference.
- The Falcons have already played two MVC schools, Missouri State and Bradley this year and will play a fourth, Wichita State next week.
- Air Force went 2-2 last weekend at the RussMat Central Florida Invitational. The Falcons defeated Miami (Ohio) (7-4) and Bowling Green (6-0) and lost to Bradley (6-0) and Bucknell (5-1).
- The Falconss batted .275 in the series, had an ERA of 2.31 and fielded .955.
- Nathan Carter was AFA's top hitter, batting .500 (6-for-12).
- Blair Roberts also had a strong weekend, batting .472 (8-for-17).
- The Falcon bullpen allowed just one earned run in 11.1 innings of work.
Abrecht Off To Best Start By AF Pitcher Since 1995
Junior right-hander Evan Abrecht is off to a hot start, going 4-0 in his first four outings. Abrecht is the first pitcher to start the season 4-0 in his first four starts at Air Force since Dave Lyons won nine straight to start the 1995 season. Abrecht Is second on the team with 23 strikeouts in 23 innings and is third with a 4.30 ERA.
Carley Named MWC Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Sophomore right-hander Sean Carley earned Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Week, announced Tuesday by the conference office.
Carley led Air Force to a 6-0 win over Bowling Green by tossing a two-hit, complete-game shutout Saturday at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Auburndale, Fla. Carley allowed a single in the first and a leadoff single in the second, before retiring 24 consecutive batters en route to his first collegiate complete game and shutout. The Melbourne, Fla., native struck out a career-high 12 batters without a walk while allowing only one runner to reach second base.
It was Air Force's first complete game shutout since Jake Petro blanked Hawaii-Hilo in 2007 and the first nine-inning shutout since Josh Zumbrun against San Diego State in 2003. The 12 strikeouts are the most in a game since Alex Truesdale fanned 12 against Hawaii in 2010.
Carley is Air Force's first MWC player of the week honoree since Matt Alexander in 2009 and the first pitcher to earn player of the week honors since Truesdale in 2008.
Colangelo Developing Into Stopper
Sophomore Stephen Colangelo is cementing his role as Air Force's closer. The right-hander sports an 0.96 ERA to go with two saves in nine appearances. Colangelo has been scored upon in just one game so far this season. He has 10 strikeouts in 9.1 innings pitched.
Falcon Pitching Improved
All 11 returning pitchers that have pitched in 2011, have improved upon their previous seasons' ERA. AFA's ERA is 5.05 after 15 games, an improvement of five fewer runs per game from the 10.09 ERA after 15 games in 2010.
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 4.14 ERA, having struck out 69 in 82.2 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 10.66 ERA and had struck out 47 in 66.2 innings.
Relievers Off To Good Start As Well
The Air Force relief pitching corps has shown improvement as a group from 2010. Five relievers have sub-4.00 ERAs, with four below 3.38.
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 10 newcomers to the team, including seven 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).
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.
Air Force plays host to Portland this weekend for a three-day, four-game set, Fri.-Sun., March 18-20.