Falcons travel to BYU for three-game conference series
April 24, 2002
This Weekend: Air Force, 21-21 overall and 8-10 in the Mountain West Conference (fourth place), travels to Provo, Utah, for a three-game series against BYU (16-23-1 overall and 9-9 in the MWC), Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27. The teams play single games at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Radio/Television: The Air Force radio network will not broadcast the BYU series.
Peters Has Second Most Wins in First Three Years: With at least 14 games remaining in his third season, Reed Peters has won 67 games. Peters' 67 victories are the second-most by a Falcon baseball coach in the first three seasons. Paul Mainieri, currently the head coach at Notre Dame, won 75 in his first three years (1989-91). Mainieri won 27, 26 and 22. Peters led the Falcons to back-to-back 23-win seasons in 2000 and 2001. In the history of Falcon baseball, there have been seven coaches (including Peters) who have coached at least three seasons. Peters has won more games than Wendell Lawrence, John Sparks, Joe Robison, Jim Hanley and Eric Campbell.
Conference Wins on Record Pace: Air Force has eight conference wins to tie last season's total and tie the fifth most in AFA history. The Falcons have 12 conference games remaining this season. The eight wins tie as the most since the 1995 team won 10 games. The school record of 13 was set by Paul Mainieri's team in 1989. Air Force won 12 games in 1982, 11 in 1984 and 10 in 1995.
Series History: Air Force and BYU have played 125 times and the Cougars have dominated the series, winning 106 and losing just 19. AFA won two of the six games last season, both in Provo. The Cougars eliminated the Falcons from the MWC Tournament last season, 7-1. Air Force has played BYU better in Provo than at Falcon Field recently. AFA is just 2-11 against BYU in the last 13 games at Falcon Field. In Provo, Air Force is 4-5 against BYU in the last three years.
Scouting the Opponent: BYU is 16-23-1 overall and tied for second in the MWC with a 9-9 record. The Cougars are one game ahead of the Falcons in the league standings. BYU was swept in a three-game series on the road last week at San Diego State. Including a suspended game that was completed last week, the Cougars have lost four straight and five of the last six. Traditionally a powerful offensive team, the Cougars are hitting just .297 as a team with 33 home runs in 40 games. The team is fielding .952 and has stolen 63 bases. The pitching staff has been solid with a 6.70 ERA and 222 strikeouts. Jeff Mousser is the top thrower with a 6-3 record and a 4.53 ERA. First-baseman Dave Jensen leads the team with a .380 batting average, 17 doubles and 44 RBI. Matt Carson leads BYU with seven home runs and is hitting .357.
Kaercher Moves Up To Second on Career Wins List: Senior righthander Matt Kaercher posted the 22nd win of his career with the victory over New Mexico, April 19. His 22 victories moved him into second place, ahead of Dave Lyons who had 21 wins from 1994-97. Bob Wright holds the career record with 24 wins from 1981 to 1984. Kaercher also ranks third on the career appearances list with 73. Steve Carson (1989-92) holds the record with 90. Keith Umlauf (1992-95) is second with 83.
Crime Does Pay: Air Force already has more stolen bases this season as all of last season and there are 12 regular-season games remaining on the schedule. In 42 games this season, Air Force has stolen 85 bases for an average of 2.1 per game. The Falcons have only been caught stealing 23 times for an incredible 80 percent success rate. The Falcons have already stolen the most bases in the Reed Peters era and could possibly set a new school record. In Peters' first season, Air Force stole 76 bases. AFA had 71 thefts last season. The school record for stolen bases in a season is 122 set in 1979, but the Falcons have not stolen more than 77 bases in the last 15 years. Over the course of a full season, the Falcons are on pace for 119 stolen bases.
Last Week: Air Force won three of four games. After a disappointing 12-9 loss to Metro State, Air Force swept New Mexico, 7-5, 7-5 and 11-9.
On Deck: Following the BYU series, AFA returns home to host San Diego State, May 3-5, at the Academy's Falcon Field.