Falcons host Colorado Mines, travel to BYU
April 7, 2003
This Weekend: Air Force (10-20 overall, 0-11 MWC) plays four games this week with a non-conference home game against Colorado Mines (6-20 overall) and then a three-game Mountain West Conference series at BYU (13-16, 6-6 MWC). The schedule is below.
Tue. Apr. 8 2 pm Colorado Mines Falcon Field Thur. Apr. 10 7 pm BYU Provo, Utah Fri. Apr. 11 7 pm BYU Provo, Utah Sat. Apr. 12 12 pm BYU Provo, UtahRadio/Television: There is no radio or television in the Colorado Springs area. Selected baseball games will be broadcast later in the season, but the schedule has not yet been set. Once the schedule is confirmed, it will be posted on the baseball page of the website on the right side of the screen.
Utah Schedule Change: The third game of the Air Force-Utah series at Falcon Field, April 6, was postponed due to snow. The game will be made up when Air Force travels to Salt Lake City, May 9-11. The date and time have not yet been announced.
Series History: Air Force and Colorado Mines have played 22 times and the Falcons hold a 19-3 lead in the series that began in 1975. Air Force defeated the Orediggers, 23-15, last season at Falcon Field. CSM's last win in the series came in 1990. Air Force and BYU have played 120 times and the Cougars hold a 108-20 lead in the series that began in 1962. Last season, BYU took three of the five regular-season games and also defeated Air Force in the first round of the MWC Tournament. The teams split two games last season in Provo with BYU winning game one (3-2) and AFA taking the second game (10-8). The third game was cancelled due to weather.
Scouting the Opponents: Colorado Mines is a Division II member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Orediggers are 6-20 overall this season and 1-3 in the RMAC. CSM broke a 16-game losing streak with an 8-2 win over New Mexico Highlands on April 5. The team has lost 17 of its last 18. Fielding has been the Orediggers downfall as the team has made 65 errors in 26 games for a .925 fielding percentage. Mines is hitting .303 with 10 home runs and has a 5.74 team ERA. The Orediggers are coached by Mike Mulvaney who is in his eighth season at the school. BYU is 13-16 overall this season and in fourth place in the MWC with a 6-6 conference record. Former major leaguer Vance Law is in his fourth season with the Cougars. The team is hitting .297 with a .955 fielding percentage and a 6.33 team ERA. BYU has won six of its last eight games, but lost two of three last weekend at San Diego State.
League Leader: Senior Josh Phifer leads the MWC in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. He is one of four players in the league with a .400 or better average. His .450 average is nine points better than UNM's Sean Murray who is second with a .441 mark. Phifer's .856 slugging percentage is 41 points ahead of UNM's Chris Alexander. His .530 on-base percentage is 37 points better than UNM's Sean Murray who has a .493 percentage.
Showing the Leather: Air Force's defense in the last two weeks has been outstanding. In five games at Hawaii, March 25-29, the Falcons made just three errors and posted a .984 fielding percentage. All three errors came in the 8-7 loss to Hawaii in the semifinals. In two games last weekend against Utah, the Falcons made just one error and fielded .989. Air Force raised its season fielding percentage to .960. Air Force has played 10 games this season without making an error.
Close Only Counts in Shaving: Air Force has struggled winning close games this season. The Falcons are 0-6 in games decided by one run and have lost seven games in the opponents' final at-bat. In the eighth and ninth innings combined, Air Force has been out-scored 43-20. The Falcons have been out-scored 7-3 in three extra-inning games. AFA is 0-3 in extra innings with losses coming against Northern Colorado, New Mexico and Hawaii. At the Rainbow Easter Tournament in Honolulu, March 25-29, all three of Air Force's losses were by one run and two were decided in the opponents' final at -bat.
The Coach: The 2002 Mountain West Coach of the Year, Reed Peters (UNLV, 1992) is in his fourth season as the Falcons' head coach and his fifth season overall with Air Force. Peters came to the Academy as an assistant coach in the fall of 1998. His career and Air Force record is 83-115. Peters' coaching career began at his alma mater, UNLV, where he was an assistant coach from 1990-94. The Denver native was the head coach at Colby Community College (Kansas) from 1995-98. He led the Trojans to a 123-80 record for a .600 winning percentage. He led the team to a regional championship and two regional runner-up finishes. In his first three seasons, Peters won more conference games than any other Falcon coach in their first three seasons. Peters won 28 league games in three seasons, passing the record of Joe Robison and Eric Campbell, who each won 24 games in his first three seasons. Peters won 73 games overall from 2000-02, the second most by a Falcon baseball coach in the first three seasons. Peters led the Falcons to back-to-back 23-win seasons in 2000 and 2001 and to 27 last season. He is assisted by Greg Brummett (pitchers), 1st Lt. Chris Humphrey (catchers/outfielders) and Mark Breeding (infielders/junior varsity).
Last Week: Air Force played an exhibition game against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on April 1, losing 11-0, and then dropped two MWC games to Utah (9-7 and 12-4), April 5-6, at Falcon Field. The third game of the series was postponed due to snow and will be made up May 9-11 in Salt Lake City.
Series Notes: Zach McAngus hit safely in his first six plate appearances against the Utes and hit .700 (7-for-10) in the series with four runs scored and a stolen base. Tony Shockley hit .556 (5-for-9) with a double, an RBI and a stolen base. AFA hit .338 in the series while Utah hit .367. The Utes hit six home runs while Air Force did not leave the yard. AFA fielded .989 with just one error in 90 chances.
On Deck: Following the BYU series, Air Force returns home to begin a seven-game home stand. Air Force hosts UNLV (April 18-20), Metro State (April 22) and San Diego State (April 25-27).