March 17, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (7-10) vs. Portland (8-6)
Friday, March 18 (2 p.m. MST)
Saturday, March 19 (11 a.m. doubleheader)
Sunday, March 20 (12 p.m.)
Falcon Field - USAFA, Colo.
Free admission for all Air Force baseball home games.
AF: Maj. Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) First year as a head coach.
Portland: Chris Sperry (Portland, 1989) is 263-433-1 in his 14th year.
Last Time Out:
AF - Split doubleheader with Creighton Wednesday.
Portland - Went 2-2 at Hawaii last weekend.
Falcons Host Portland For Four Game Set
Air Force baseball hosts Portland in a four-game series Fri.-Sun., March 18-20 at Falcon Field. Livestats will be available for the series. Admission is free for all Air Force baseball home games.
Scouting The Portland
Portland is 8-6 on the season after splitting a four-game series at Hawii.
- The Pilots are batting .274, have an ERA of 4.07 and are fielding .977.
- Sr. 1B Kevin Armijo leads the team with a .382 average to go with a homer and eight RBIs.
- So. RHP Chris Johnson (1-0, 5.06), Jr. RHP Owen Jones (1-1, 5.19), Jr. Kyle Kraus (2-0, 3.42) and So. Matt McCallister (0-1, 5.19) are slated to start vs. AFA.
Falcons vs. West Coast Conference
- Air Force is 3-16 all-time vs. schools from the West Coast Conference.
Recapping Creighton Doubleheader
- The Falcons split their Wednesday doubleheader with Creighton, taking game one, 2-1, and falling 11-9 in game two.
- Nathan Carter drove in the game-tying run and scored the winning run in the 2-1 win.
- Seth Kline hit a grand slam to highlight a five-run ninth as the Falcons mounted a furious rally but ultimately fell short in game two.
- The Falcons batted .302, field .974 and had a 3.94 ERA in the two games.
- Garrett Custons led the way offensively, batting .571 (4-for-7) with three runs.
- Five Falcon pitchers did not allow an earned run vs. Creighton.
Recapping Last Week at RussMatt Central Florida Invitational
- 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 Falcons 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 Earns A Pair of Weekly Honors
Sophomore right-hander Sean Carley earned a pair of weekly player of the week awards for his performance against Bowling Green on March 12.
Carley earned Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Week and Collegbaseballinsider.com National Pitcher of the Week honors.
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 0.84 ERA to go with three saves in 10 appearances. Colangelo has been scored upon in just one game so far this season. He has 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched.
Lowest Team ERA Since 1979
All 11 returning pitchers that have pitched in 2011, have improved upon their previous seasons' ERA. AFA's ERA is 4.93 after 17 games, an improvement of nearly five fewer runs per game from the 9.85 ERA after 17 games in 2010. That ERA is currently the lowest at the Academy since the 1979 team's 4.32 ERA.
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 3.91 ERA, having struck out 70 in 89.2 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 10.16 ERA and had struck out 52 in 72.2 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 ERAs 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).
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 Played First 15 On Road
The Falcons played their first month of baseball away from Falcon Field. The Falcons went 6-9 in their first 15 games away from Falcon Field.
Air Force features nine pitchers that stand 6-foot-3 or taller, including six 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 continues its spring break with a pair of games at Wichita State Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22-23. First pitch for both games will be at 6:30 p.m. CST.