March 31, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (8-17) vs. Colorado School of Mines (6-23) & Utah Valley (7-18)
vs. Colorado School of Mines - Wed., April 1 - 2:30 p.m. - Falcon Field, USAFA
vs. Utah Valley
Friday, April 3 - 4 p.m. (MST) - doubleheader
Saturday, April 4 - 12 p.m. - doubleheader
- Utah Valley series at Wolverine Baseball Stadium in Orem, Utah
Radio and Live Stats available at goAirForceFalcons.com Wednesday.
Live Stats available at wolverinegreen.com for the Utah Valley series.
AF: Mike Hutcheon (Wayne State (Neb.), 1984) is 58-225 in his 6th year at Air Force and 297-365 in his 15th year as a head coach.
Colorado School of Mines: Jerrid Oates (Nebraska Wesleyan, 2001) is 26-57 in his second year at CSM.
Utah Valley: Eric Madsen (Bellevue, 2003) is 136-125 in his first year as a head coach.
vs. CSM - Air Force leads, 20-3.
vs. UVU - UVU leads, 5-4.
vs. CSM - Air Force defeated CSM 22-9 on April 8, 2003.
vs. UVU - Split two games at Northern Colorado in 2008. AF won game one, 8-7, and UVU took game two, 17-6.
Last Time Out:
Air Force: Went 1-6 in seven games last week during its Spring Break.
Colorado School of Mines: Went 1-3 vs. Metro State last week. It's series with Colorado Christian this past weekend was snowed out.
UVU: Went 1-3 at Nevada last weekend.
Falcons Host Colorado School of Mines and Play Four At Utah Valley
The Air Force baseball team is slated to play five games this week, hosting The Colorado School of Mines on Wed., April 1 and playing back-to-back doubleheaders at Utah Valley on Fri.-Sat., April 3-4. Live stats will be available for all five games. Live audio will be available for the CSM game Wed.
Scouting The Falcons
Air Force enters the week with a 8-17 overall record. The Falcons went 1-6 over a six-day span last week during Spring Break. The Falcons are led offensively by junior first baseman Addison Gentry, who is batting .376 with four homers and 22 RBIs. Junior RHP Alex Truesdale anchors the pitching staff and has a 2-4 record in 34.2 innings pitched, to go with 24 strikeouts.
Scouting Colorado School of Mines
The Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colo., enters the week with a 6-23 record. The Orediggers are led offensively by sophomore infielder Nick Wong, who is batting .337 with 12 runs and 18 RBIs. Junior left-hander Cory Ast leads the team with 45 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched. CSM is batting .257, fielding .930 and has a team ERA of 7.91.
Series History vs. CSM
- Air Force is 20-3 all time against CSM.
- The two team s first played on April 4, 1975, with the Falcons winning 25-14.
Air Force-CSM series history
4/4/75 AF, 25-14 H
3/29/77 AF, 8-7 H
3/29/77 CSM, 8-2 H
4/6/78 AF, 18-4 H
4/13/78 AF, 18-4 A
4/5/79 AF, 11-9 A
4/12/79 AF, 17-3 A
3/18/80 AF, 16-6 H
4/11/80 AF, 20-11 A
3/22/85 AF, 5-1 H
3/22/85 AF, 17-1 H
2/2/86 AF, 14-0 H
2/2/86 AF, 24-18 H
3/19/87 AF, 16-3 A
3/19/87 AF, 11-2 A
4/5/88 CSM, 10-7 H
4/5/88 AF, 16-6 H
3/21/90 CSM, 9-6 H
4/28/93 AF, 18-2 H
4/20/94 AF, 27-10 H
3/15/95 AF, 15-1 H
4/10/02 AF, 23-15 H
4/8/03 AF, 22-9 H
Scouting Utah Valley
Utah Valley enters the week with a 7-18 record. The Wolverines are led offensively by junior infielder Jace Brinkerhoff, who is batting .394 with 19 runs and 15 RBIs. Junior right-hander Justin Smith leads the team with a 2-3 record and has a 5.77 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched. UVU is batting .275, fielding .954 and has a team ERA of 7.91.
Series History vs. Utah Valley
- Air Force is 4-5 all time against Utah Valley.
- The two team s first played on Feb. 18, 2005, with UVU winning 13-5 at the Academy.
Air Force-UVU series history
2/18/05 UVU, 13-5 H
2/19/05 UVU, 21-4 H
3/3/06 AF, 10-8 A
3/3/06 AF, 11-4 A
3/4/06 UVU, 11-7 A
3/3/07 UVU, 7-3 N#
5/4/07 AF, 9-5 N^
4/18/08 AF, 8-7 N^
4/19/08 UVU, 17-6 N^
#Game in Lewiston, ID
Spring Break Games Recap
vs. Presbyterian - Air Force baseball dropped a 9-6 game at Presbyterian Tuesday afternoon at the P.C. Baseball Complex. Presbyterian tagged Air Force starter Alex Truesdale (2-4) for seven run in the first two innings and never looked back. The Blue Hose had 16 hits in the game and took advantage of four Falcon errors. Air Force had eight hits in the game with Addison Gentry and Jon McMahon recording two hits each. McMahon also led the Falcons with three RBIs.
vs. Savannah State - Air Force baseball dropped a 4-1 pitchers' duel at Savannah State Wednesday afternoon at Grayson Stadium. Freshman Evan Abrecht and junior Michael Ruvolo combined to hold Savannah State to four hits on the day. Abrecht (0-2) pitched five innings in the start, allowing two hits, one earned run and struck out a career-high seven batters. Ruvolo did not allow a run in three innings and faced just nine batters total.
vs. Charleston Southern - Air Force defeated Charleston Southern 18-16, in a wild see-saw affair Thursday. Air Force and Charleston Southern began play in the top of the fifth with the Falcons staking a 12-6 lead. The game was the completion of Feb. 28 doubleheader that was rained out after four innings. In a wild offensive slugfest, where the two team combined for 43 hits and 34 runs, it was Air Force, which came out on top after failing to hold the 12-6 lead. After the Falcons extended its lead to 13-6 with a run in the top of the fifth, Charleston Southern scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a 13-9 game. Air Force added runs in the sixth and seventh innings to go up 15-9. The Buccaneers then responded with a six-run seventh to tie the game up. The Falcons then rallied with two runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth to hold on to the win.
vs. Citadel G1 - In the Citadel game, the Air Force bats were held to seven hits in the loss. The Falcons did not score until the eighth inning, when a two-run rally pulled AFA to within a run, trailing 3-2. The Citadel put up two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to hold on to the win. The loss spoiled a strong start by senior Casey Allen (0-2). Allen pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs while striking out three. Andrew Loyd and Kurcz pitched in relief for the Falcons.
vs. Citadel G2 - Air Force dropped a wild, 13-11 baseball game at The Citadel Friday afternoon at Riley Park. Air Force erased a 9-4 Citadel lead with a seven-run seventh inning. Matt Alexander capped-off the inning with a three-run homer that put the Falcons up 11-9. The lead was short lived as the Bulldogs rallied with four runs in the eighth inning to pull back ahead 13-11. The Citadel closer Drew Mahaffey then struck out the side in the ninth to shut the door on the Falcons, picking his first save of the season. The game was a marathon affair, taking three hours and 52 minutes to complete.
vs. Citadel G3 - Air Force dropped a 8-1 baseball game at The Citadel Saturday afternoon at Riley Park. The Citadel scored in four of the first five innings to jump ahead 8-0. Matt Crim (2-2) held Air Force to one one run on seven hits in eight innings pitched. Falcon starter Matt Barattino (1-1) took the loss, allowing eight runs in four innings pitched. Freshman Michael Ceci pitched four scoreless innings in relief. Ben Ausbun led Air Force with two hits. Ausbun and Parker Mayo both hit doubles for the Falcons.
vs. Citadel G4 - Air Force dropped a 4-1 baseball game at The Citadel Sunday afternoon at Riley Park. Citadel head coach Fred Jordan earned his 600th career win in the game. The teams traded runs in the fifth inning before Richard Jones hit a three-run homer in the sixth for the games' deciding runs. It was Jones' second game-winning homer in the last three days. Andrew Loyd (1-1) held the Citadel scoreless through the first four innings before surrendering the run in the fifth and tiring in the sixth. Loyd went a career-best 5.2 innings in his first-career start.
Falcons Improved Across The Board In `09
After its first 25 games in 2009, Air Force has shown improvement across the board, when compared to the first 25 games played in the past three years. Air Force has its highest batting average, slugging percentage and runs scored per game totals in 2009. In addition, the pitching staff has the lowest team ERA in the past four years.
Year Avg. SLG Runs PG ERA
09 .285 .412 6.3 6.35
08 .241 .363 4.9 7.39
07 .252 .387 4.3 7.85
06 .242 .366 4.5 6.88
Still A Young Team
Despite returning eight starters in the field and two of its three weekend starters from the 2008 team, Air Force is still a relatively young team. Of its nine starters with 50+ at bats, five are underclassmen and four are juniors. All four of Air Force's seniors are pitchers. Conversely, Air Force's freshmen have pitched the most innings of any class.
Percentage of starts by grade
Hitters Pitchers % of IP
Seniors 0% 40% 30.4%
Juniors 43% 24% 25.8%
Sophomores 32% 8% 12.8%
Freshmen 25% 28% 31.0%
Three Ranked Teams In MWC
The Mountain West Conference is traditionally a tough conference across the board. The 2009 may be the strongest season yet for the conference, as three teams are currently in the Baseball America Top 25 Rankings. New Mexico leads the way, ranked 18th in the nation. San Diego State is 21st, followed by three-time MWC Champion TCU at 22nd.
Teams in BA Top 25
Big 12 5
Big West 3
Pac 10 2
Conference USA 2
Big Ten 1
- Air Force is batting .285 as a team, ranking fifth in the MWC.
- Air Force is third in the conference with 11 triples and 37 stolen bases.
- The Falcons are batting .294 in MWC play.
- Addison Gentry is ninth in the MWC with a .376 batting average.
- Air Force has a 6.35 ERA, ranking sixth in the MWC. Air Force' s era last year was 8.34.
- The Falcons lead the MWC with fewest walks allowed (61) and hit batters (20) and are second-fewest in wild pitches (13).
- Opponents are hitting .343 vs. Air Force. Opponents hit .358 vs. AFA in 2008.
- Alex Truesdale ranks10th in the MWC in innings and strikeouts.
- Aaron Kurcz is third in the MWC with four saves.
- Michael Ruvolo has pitched in 70 career games, ranking sixth all-time at Air Force.
- Air Force is fielding .949 on the season, ranking seventh in the MWC.
- The Falcons fielded .961 in its seven games last week.
- Air Force is second in the conference, having thrown out 12 baserunners attempting to steal.
- Addison Gentry is third in the MWC with 205 chances and 191 putouts.
Injury Sidelines Falcon Shortstop
Air Force suffered a major setback in the New Mexico series when starting shortstop K.J. Randhawa broke a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the last inning of the last game of the series. A team co-captain and three-year starter at shortstop, Randhawa is slated to be out for at least four weeks. Randhawa has scored 13 runs in 14 games for the Falcons and has a .419 on-base percentage. He ranked third in the MWC with 51 assists at the time of his injury.
All Falcon Home Games On Radio
Air Force baseball home games will be broadcast on 97.7 KAFA radio, the cadet run radio station at the Air Force Academy. KAFA's first Air Force baseball broadcast is slated for the March 4 game with Colorado Christian. The full broadcast schedule will be posted on the website.
Alexander On Preseason All-MWC Baseball Team
Air Force junior designated hitter Matt Alexander was named to the 2009 Mountain West Conference Preseason All-Conference Team.
Alexander batted .306 last year as a sophomore, leading the Falcons with seven home runs. He was second on the team with 45 RBIs and a .529 slugging percentage. In one of the best single-game performances in school history, Alexander went 6-for-7 in a game last year against Doane College. In that game, Alexander hit for the cycle, hit two triples and drove in 11 runs. The 11 RBIs and 14 total bases are conference records.
Major League Bloodlines
Air Force has two sophomores, both from the East Bay region of Northern California, with brothers on Major League Baseball Spring Training rosters. Third baseman Vai Schierholtz has a brother, Nate, who is an outfielder with the San Francisco Giants. Outfielder Nathan Carter has a brother, Chris, who is an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox. Schierholtz batted .320 in 19 games for the Giants in 2008. He was also a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and also played in the 2008 MLB All-Stars Futures Game. Carter batted .333 in nine games for the Red Sox in 2008. The elder Carter played his college ball at Stanford.
Air Force returns to action April 7, hosting the Northern Colorado. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. and the game will have live radio and stats.