Falcons Take On MWC-Leading BYU In Provo
Falcons Take On MWC-Leading BYU In Provo
The Air Force baseball team (5-17, 0-3 MWC) travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU (17-7-1, 5-1 MWC) for a three game set from March 31-April 2 at Larry H. Miller Stadium. Live stats will be available for all three games at www.BYUCougars.com or www.AirForceSports.com.
Air Force is 5-17 on the season and 0-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Falcons split a doubleheader at Northern Colorado on Tuesday, taking game one, 6-3, and falling, 15-6, in game two.
The Falcons are batting .285 as a team. Sophomore Karl Bolt headlines the AFA offense with a .406 average and seven home runs and leads the conference with a .548 on base percentage. The Air Force pitching staff has a 9.77 earned run average, led by senior righty and Tooele, Utah, native, Paul Pratt, who is 2-5 with 25 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched.
Head Coach Mike Hutcheon
Mike Hutcheon begins his second year as the head coach of the Falcons. Prior to his stint at the Academy, Hutcheon spent the last four years at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. and compiled a record of 130-78 during his tenure there. In 2002, Hutcheon was named the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Coach of the year after leading Bethel to the 2002 NCCAA national title. Prior to his stay at Bethel, Hutcheon coached at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., for five seasons where he went 109-62. Through ten seasons as a head coach, Hutcheon has compiled a 250-206 record and is 110-66 at Air Force.
The Cougars of Brigham Young University, located in Provo, Utah, enter the week with a 17-7-1 record after getting swept in a Tuesday doubleheader at 17th-ranked Oregon State. Vance Law is 173-143-2 in his fifth year as the head coach for BYU. The Cougars, who are tied for first in the MWC with a 5-1 conference record, are batting .327 as a team, led by freshman second baseman Sean McNaughton, who is batting .383 with 10 home runs and 27 RBI. The BYU pitching staff has an earned run average of 4.57 and is led by junior right-hander Dave Horlacher, who is 1-1 with 36 K's in 35.0 innings pitched.
BYU and Air Force have met 141 times, with the Cougars leading the series 119-22...Last season, BYU won all six regular-season games, which were all played in Provo due to a snowout at the Academy...The Falcons won the last meeting, 5-3, at the 2004 MWC Championships...BYU pitching coach Bobby Applegate was the pitching coach at Air Force for four years from 1998-2001...Paul Pratt is a native of Tooele, Utah and attended Tooele HS...Price Paramore, Pratt and his cousin, Mike Garrison, all return to the Falcons in 2005 after serving two year Mormon missions.
AFA-BYU: The Last Meeting
Behind a masterful pitching performance from Clayton Couch, sixth-seeded Air Force advanced to the second day of the 2004 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championships by snapping a 34-game losing streak with its 5-3 win over fourth-seeded BYU, Wednesday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
Air Force (6-48, 0-28 MWC) also lost 13-9 to third-seeded UNLV (34-22, 20-10 MWC) earlier in the day.
Couch improved to 3-7 on the season, tossing a complete game five-hitter. The sophomore right-hander fanned seven and held BYU to just two base hits after the fourth inning. Losing pitcher was BYU starter Bryce Searle (2-2), who gave up three runs in 2.1 innings pitched.
The Falcons pushed across a run in the top of the first aided by a pair of walks by Searle to go up 1-0 against BYU. The Cougars came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.
AFA came back in the third, scoring two runs to re-take a 3-2 lead and knocking Searle out of the game. Josh Wolfram scored on a throwing error by third baseman Blair Lucas and Reid Lamson later scored on the tail end of a successful double steal.
The Falcons added two more in the top of the fourth on a throwing error by relief pitcher Joshua Barrett. With runners on second and third, Josh Wolfram hit a slow chopper down the first base line. Barrett slipped fielding the ball forcing him to hurry his throw which deflected off Wolfram, who was running down the first base line, allowing Travis Fugler and Nathan DeRohan to score.
BYU got a run back in the fourth on a passed ball to make it a 5-3 game.
For the next three innings, Couch and Barrett locked into a pitchers duel as Couch allowed just one hit in the three innings while Barrett allowed none.
The Falcons had the bases loaded with nobody out in the eighth inning but failed to score as BYU reliever Paul Jacinto bailed the Cougars out of a jam. But that didn't matter as Couch got Tim Law to ground out to first and then induced Adam Wilkes into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play in the ninth.
The Falcons had nine hits in the game, led by Brent Tittle, who went 2-for-5 with two RBI's. Jason Brown also had two hits on the day. AFA also set a tourney record with five stolen bases.
With the three snowouts last weekend against San Diego State, the Falcons have had seven games now postponed due to snowfall at the Academy. Air Force also had to cancel doubleheaders against Northern Colorado on Feb. 8 and against York College on Feb. 12.
It's Now a 17-game Road Swing
With the cancellation of the March 24-26 home series against San Diego State, the Falcons will be slated to play 17 consecutive games on the road after the conclusion of the BYU series. The Falcons last played at Falcon Field on Feb. 20. Air Force's next home game is April 8 against Utah.
The Falcons batted .355 in the doubleheader...Geno Salazar extended his hitting streak to nine games with hits in both games vs. UNC...Karl Bolt went 5-for-7 with two doubles and a home run...Matt Ghigna went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI in game one...Troy Jeffers had a bases loaded triple in game two vs. UNC...Dustin Smith hit his first home run of the season in game two...The Falcons were 3-for-4 in stolen base attempts...The Falcons tied a season-high with five doubles in the first game...Dale Kasel had his first multi-hit game of the season in game one.
The Falcons pitched staff had an 12.46 ERA for the UNC DH...Paul Pratt won his second game of the season with a predetermined two shutout innings...Sam Rosener picked up his second save of the season with three K's in two scoreless innings...Kyle DePierre saw his second appearance of the season, striking out two in two innings...Mike Garrison also saw two innings in relief...Jeff Tetrault made his first start of the season...The Falcons walked a season-low one batter in the second game.
The Falcons fielded .923 over the weekend, committing five errors in the second game after playing an error-free first game...catcher Jon Polston leads the conference with 11 runners thrown out...The Falcons turned a season-high three double plays in the second UNC game...Geno Salazar had a season-high seven assists in the first game...The Falcons had their sixth errorless game of the season in game one.
Pos. Player (Yr./BA/HR/RBI/SB)
1B Karl Bolt (So./.406/7/19/2) Went 5-for-7 against Northern Colorado
2B Geno Salazar (So./.344/2/10/1) Second on team with five doubles, .344 BA and .557 SLG
SS Dustin Smith (Jr./.320/1/9/1) Has started last two games at short
3B Troy Jeffers (Fr./.279/0/6/0) Leads team with three triples and six doubles
LF Brent Tittle (Sr./.288/1/15/1) Co-Captain has started 20 games in left field
CF Reid Lamson (Sr./.321/1/7/8) Leads team with 19 runs and 8 stolen bases
RF Matt Ghigna (Fr./.296/1/16/6) Leads team with seven multi-RBI games
C Josh Meents (Fr./.056/0/0/0) Switch-hitting frosh. catcher looking to break out
DH Dale Kasel (Sr./.196/1/6/1) Has a .439 on base percentage
Pos. Player (Yr./W-L/IP/BB/K)
P Mitch Brown (So./0-1/18.2/9/11) Tied for team-lead with 10 appearances
P Paul Pratt (Jr./2-5/37.2/14/25) Tooele, Utah, native to make team-leading 8th start
P John Meyers (Jr./0-2/15.0/5/9) Slated to make second-career start
CL Sam Rosener (Fr./1-0/16.1/10/10) Freshman leads team with two saves
Bolt Named to Service Academies All-Tournament Team
Sophomore first baseman Karl Bolt was named to the 2005 Service Academies Spring Classic All-Tournament Team for his efforts this past weekend. Bolt led the Falcons by batting .375 over the weekend hitting two home runs at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn.
Bolt, Pratt Sweep MWC Player & Pitcher of the Week Honors
Karl Bolt and Paul Pratt were named MWC Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively on Feb. 7. Bolt was 6-for-13 (.462) with a pair of home runs, 4 runs scored and 6 RBI in a 4-game series vs. Southern Utah. Pratt, from Tooele, Utah, tossed a complete-game 5-hitter in Air Force's opening game vs. Southern Utah, giving the Falcons an 8-2 victory. In his first appearance since serving a two-year mission, he struck out 7 batters, while allowing 2 earned runs and 2 walks.
Up Next: Utah
The Falcons return home after 17 consecutive games away from Falcon Field to play host to Utah from April 8-10 at the Academy. The Falcons went 0-6 against the Utes last season. The Friday game begins at 2 p.m. with the Saturday game at 1 and the Sunday game at noon.
Falcons Announce 2005 Radio Schedule
Nine regular-season games, plus the Mountain West Conference Tournament will be broadcast in Colorado Springs on The Sports Animal AM 1300. Jay Ritchie, in his eighth season of Air Force baseball, will do the play-by-play. Dave Toller will handle the color commentary. The pregame show begins 20 minutes before the first pitch.
Telephone: The radio broadcast can also be heard on TeamLine by dialing 1-800-846-4700. The team access code is 0671. The service is available on subscription basis only.
Internet: The broadcast can also be heard on the internet at www.AirForceSports.com. The service is on a subscription basis only by clicking on the "Bolt Action" box on the front page.
2005 Air Force Baseball Broadcast Schedule (The Sports Animal AM 1300)
Date Opponent Game Time
Sat. April 9 Utah 1 p.m.
Sun. April 10 Utah Noon
Sat. April 16 at New Mexico 6 p.m.
Sun. April 17 at New Mexico 1 p.m.
Sat. April 30 BYU 1 p.m.
Sat. May 7 UNLV 1 p.m.
Sun. May 8 UNLV Noon
Sat. May 21 New Mexico Noon
Wed.-Sat. May 25-28 MWC Tournament TBA