April 25, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Air Force (16-24, 2-8) vs. Northern Colorado (12-26)/Utah (18-15, 9-4)
at Northern Colorado
Tuesday, April 26 (3 p.m.)
Jackson Field - Greeley, Colo.
Friday, April 29 (2 p.m.)*** Suspended game from March 27 to be completed, beginning at 2 p.m., followed by regularly schedule game.***
Saturday, April 30 (2 p.m.)
Sunday, May 1 (12 p.m.)
Falcon Field - USAFA
livestats.prestosports.com/uncbears/ for UNC game.
gametracker for all four home games.
AF: Maj. Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) First year as a head coach.
UNC: Carl Iwasaki (UNC, 1985) is in his first year at UNC and is 112-153 in his seventh year overall.
Utah: Bill Kinneberg (Arizona, 1980) is 196-219 in his 8th year at Utah and 441-405 in 16th year overall.
Last Time Out:
AF - Went 2-1 hosting San Diego State last weekend.
UNC - Went 4-0 hosting Texas Pan-American over the weekend.
Utah - Went 2-1 at Tulane over the weekend.
vs. UNC: Northern Colorado leads, 95-56
vs. Utah: Utah leads, 85-15
- UNC downed AF 6-5 last Tuesday.
- Utah took first two games earlier this year.
Falcons Take on Northern Colorado and Utah
Air Force baseball travels to Northern Colorado this Tuesday, April 26, then hosts Utah in a weekend series. Air Force and Utah will resume a suspended game on Friday, beginning at 2 p.m., then play the regularly scheduled Friday game. Live stats will be available for every game.
Scouting Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado is 12-26 on the season, having won all five of its games last week.
- Bears are batting .282, have an ERA of 7.11 and are fielding .965.
- Jr. OF Jarod Berggren leads the team with four homers and 32 RBIs.
- Sr. LHP Brendan Hall (1-0, 6.49) is slated to start vs. AFA.
Series History vs. UNC
- Air Force and Northern Colorado have played each other 151 times.
- Air Force is 56-95 all time against Northern Colorado.
- The two teams first met on March 22, 1957 where the Bears of Colorado State College defeated the Falcons, 13-3.
Air Force-UNC Connections
Air Force So. infielder Blair Roberts and Northern Colorado Fr. RHP Michael Wilkes are Parker, Colo., natives and attended Chaparral HS.
Scouting The Utah
Utah is 18-15 on the season after going 2-1 at Tulane over the weekend.
- The Utes are batting .291, have an ERA of 4.13 and are fielding .962.
- Jr. 1B C.J. Cron leads the MWC with a .469 average and has nine homers and 42 RBIs.
- Sr. LHP Rick Anton (5-1, 2.01), So. RHP Joe Pond (3-4, 6.23) and So. RHP Brock Duke (5-0, 4.41) and are slated to start vs. AFA.
- AFA and Utah have played each other 151 times.
- The Utes lead the series 113-38.
- The two teams first met on March 26, 1979, where the Falcons defeated the Utes, 19-4.
- Utah has won 22 consecutive games vs. AFA.
- Air Force sophomore third baseman Matt Thorne attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City. Utah sophomore RHP Joe Pond also attended Judge Memorial.
- Utah has one player on its roster from Colorado, freshman RHP Ben Mordini, who hails from Denver and attended Cherry Creek HS.
First Series with Utah
- The Falcons lost both games at Utah, falling 5-3 Friday and 2-1 Saturday. Game three was halted after the seventh inning, with Utah leading 9-4, due to Air Force's travel plans Sunday. The game began nearly two hours late Sunday, due to snowfall Saturday night.
- The Falcons batted .242, had a 2.81 ERA and fielded .972 vs. Utah.
- Seniors Parker Mayo and Nathan Carter led the Falcons with three hits in the series.
- Garrett Custons hit his fourth homer of the season in the 2-1 loss.
- Evan Abrecht went seven innings in game one, taking his first loss of the season.
- Sean Carley struck out eight in the complete-game loss Saturday.
- Ben Bertelson, with one scoreless inning, was the lone Falcon reliever to officially appear in the series.
Recapping SDSU Series
- The Falcons went 2-1 vs. San Diego State last week, falling 15-1 in game one, before rebounding to win games two and three, 7-3 and 14-7.
- The win Friday snapped a 35-game losing streak to the Aztecs dating back to 2003.
- It was Air Force's first MWC series win since taking 2-of-3 against UNLV in 2008.
- The Falcons batted .340, had a 7.00 ERA and fielded .947 in the series.
- Matthew Roberts led the Falcons at the plate, batting .667 (6-for-9) with four RBIs, in addition to fielding 1.000 at shortstop.
- Garrett Custons and Patrick Lobo both batted .500 vs. SDSU.
- Starting pitchers Ben Bertelson and Sean Carley pitched eight innings in wins.
- Bertelson tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.
- The Falcons turned eight double plays in the series.
Falcons Having Best Season Since 2002
Air Force baseball is enjoying its best season since 2002. The Falcons were over .500 after 20 games (at 11-10) for the first time since 2002, when the team went 27-28.
- Air Force swept a weekend series vs. Portland for the first time since 2003.
- Air Force had a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2002.
- Air Force got to 11 wins 20 games faster than it did in 2010.
- Air Force matched its 2010 win total of 13 games 23 games quicker in 2011.
Lowest Team ERA Since 1979
All 11 returning pitchers that have pitched in 2011, have improved upon their previous season's ERA. AFA's ERA is 5.44 after 40 games, an improvement of over five fewer runs per game from the 10.72 ERA after 40 games in 2010. That ERA is currently the lowest at the Academy since the 1979 team's 4.32 ERA.
Abrecht With Fastest Start By AF Pitcher Since 1995
Junior right-hander Evan Abrecht got off to a hot start, winning his first five outings. Abrecht is the first pitcher to start the season 5-0 in his first five starts at Air Force since Dave Lyons won nine straight to start the 1995 season. Abrecht is 5-5 on the season and is second on the team with 39 strikeouts in 60.2 innings and is second with a 6.53 ERA.
Carley Lowest ERA Since 1982
Sophomore right-hander Sean Carley's 3.15 earned-run average is lowest ERA by a starter at Air Force since Mike Schardt posted a 2.73 ERA in 1982. Carley leads the Falcons with 57 strikeouts in 68.2 innings pitched.
Colangelo Closing Games For Falcons
Sophomore Stephen Colangelo is cementing his role as Air Force's closer. The right-hander sports a 3.74 ERA to go with five saves in 21 appearances. Colangelo leads the MWC in appearances and games finished (20) and is third in saves.
Falcons Getting Solid Starting Pitching
Air Force starting pitchers are off its best start in nearly a decade. The Falcon starting pitchers currently sport a 5.02 ERA, having struck out 154 in 217 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 11.20 ERA and had struck out 112 in 168 innings.
Relievers Off To Good Start As Well
The Air Force relief pitching corps has shown improvement as a group from 2010. Three relievers have ERAs below 3.74.
Falcons On Pace To Set Fielding Record
Air Force is fielding .961 so far this season. That is currently the highest fielding percentage in school history. The Falcons set a school record last season with a .958 fielding percentage.
Falcons Solid At Home
Air Force is 8-3 at home games this year, which is on pace for its best home season since going 15-2 at home in 1986. Conversely, Air Force is 2-13 on the road. The Falcons are 6-8 in neutral-site games.
Falcons Recently Helped Host Event At Coors Field For Military Families
In conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, the United States Air Force Academy Baseball Team help host "Joining Forces with the Rockies: Celebrating Military Families" at Coors Field this Wednesday evening, April 13. The event allowed families from military bases around Colorado to take part in a baseball clinic and social at Coors Field, all while being honored for their service to the country and the sacrifices they make. The families enjoyed a special viewing of the Rockies at Mets game on the Rockies jumbo screens. Kids were allowed to take part in the interactive features on Coors Field's concourse.
As part of the event, United States First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to the families to thank and honor them for their service and sacrifice. Both Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden also participated in the activities with the families. Additionally, other local government and military personnel attended the event to provide support and give their thanks.
The clinic was run by Colorado Rockies staff members and the USAFA Baseball Team. The event ran from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
During the event, national multi-platinum recording artist Jessica Simpson sang God Bless America.
Seniors Get Assignments
All five Air Force basball seniors have received their first assignments upon graduation in June.
Nathan Carter - Pilot training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
Parker Mayo - Pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
Jon McMahon - UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Pilot training, Randolf AFB, Texas.
Brad Pingel - Space & Missiles, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Vai Schierholtz - Acquisitions - Los Angeles, AFB, Calif.
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.
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).
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 plays its final road series of the year, traveling to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on New Mexico May 6-8.