May 3, 2012
Air Force (12-30) vs. Kansas (18-27) & Missouri State (31-14) at Jayhawk Classic
vs. Missouri State - Friday, May 4 (2 p.m. CST)
at Kansas - Friday, May 4 (6 p.m.)
vs. Missouri State - Saturday, May 5 (11 a.m.)
at Kansas - Saturday, May 5 (3 p.m.)
All four games at Hoglund Ballpark - Lawrence, Kan.
goAirForceFalcons.com and KUathletics.com
KUathletics.com (Kansas games)
AF: Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) is 31-66 in his second year.
MSU: Keith Guttin (Missouri-St. Louis, 1978) is 1,023-644 in his 30th year.
KU: Ritch Price (Willamette, 1978) is 316-277-2 in his 10th year at KU and is 534-497-3 in his 17th year overall.
Last Time Out:
AF - Went 2-1 hosting San Diego State over the weekend.
MSU -Went 2-1 hosting Illinois State over the weekend.
KU - Went 0-2 hosting Oklahoma over the weekend and won at Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday.
vs. MSU: tied 1-1
vs.KU: KU leads 2-0
vs. MSU: AF won 2011 season-opener 7-2 on Feb. 18, 2011 in San Marcos, Texas.
vs. KU: KU won 4-1 last year on March 6, in Suprise, Ariz.
Falcons To Play in Jayhawk Classic
Air Force baseball travels to Lawrence, Kan., to take on Missouri State and Kansas this weekend, May 4-5, at the Jayhawk Classic. The Falcons take on both Missouri State and Kansas both days. Live stats will be available for all four games and live broadcast will be available for the KU games.
Scouting Missouri State
Missouri State is 31-14 on the season after taking two of three games against Illinois State.
- The Bears are batting .276, have a 2.61 ERA and fielding .972 as a team.
- The Bears top hitter is Sr. 1B Brock Chaffin, who is batting .319 with 35 RBIs.
- The Falcons get to face the NCAA leader for lowest ERA Friday in So. RHP Nick Petree (8-2, 0.70) and get Jr. RHP Pierce Johnson (2-5, 2.98) on Saturday.
Last Meeting vs. MSU
- Air Force opened the 2011 season with a 7-2 win over Missouri State in the opening game of the Texas State Tournament at Bobcat Stadium. Then-Maj. Mike Kazlausky won his first-career game as a head coach.
- A five-run fifth inning by Air Force broke open a scoreless game. The Falcons got solid starting pitching from junior right-hander Evan Abrecht (1-0), who picked up the win by holding Missouri State to two runs in six-plus innings of work.
- Senior centerfielder Nathan Carter led the way for the Falcons by going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, triple and five RBIs. Sophomore leftfielder Alex Bast also had a day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including his first-career homer that capped off the five-run fifth.
- Things got going in the fifth when Carter delivered a bases loaded double that cleared the bases and gave the Falcons a 3-0 lead. Bast then followed up with the two-run homer that put AFA ahead 5-0.
- After allowing two runs in the bottom-half of the fifth, the Falcons put up runs in the seventh and eighth innings to build a 7-2 lead. Air Force got clutch relief pitching as sophomores Matt Zettler, Alex Baker and Stephen Colangelo, did not allow a run in the final three innings of play.
- Air Force had 10 hits on the day. Sophomore catcher Garrett Custonsalso played well for the Falcons, going 2-for-3 with three runs and a stolen base.
Falcons vs. Missouri Valley
- Air Force is 8-33 all-time in 41 games vs. Missouri Valley Conference opponents.
- Air Force's last MVC opponent was Wichita State last season.
Kansas is 18-27 on the season after going 0-2 against Oklahoma over the weekend and defeating Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday.
- The Jayhawks are batting .250, have a 4.54 ERA and are fielding .976.
- KU's top hitter is Jr. SS Kevin Kuntz, son of former MLB player Rusty Kuntz, who is batting .286 with 26 runs scored.
- So. RHP Frank Duncan (4-6, 3.33) and Fr. LHP Wes Benjamin (2-6, 4.36) are slated to pitch against the Falcons.
Series History vs. KU
- Air Force is 0-2 vs. Kansas, taking lost to the Jayhawks in 2009 and 2011.
- Kansas pitcher Shaeffer Hall tossed a no-hitter on Feb. 20, 2009 to down the Falcons 5-0 at the Service Academies Spring Classic in Millington, Tenn.
Last Meeting vs. KU
- Air Force dropped a 4-1 contest to Kansas at the Coca-Cola Classic at the Surprise Sports Complex.
- Wally Marciel (2-1) and Colton Murray combined to hold Air Force to five hits and one run. Marciel scattered three hits in seven innings. Murray struck out four in two scoreless innings for the save.
- Junior left-hander Michael Ceci (1-2) held KU to three runs off six hits, while fanning four in six innings in the tough-luck loss. Alex Baker and Stephen Colangelo also pitched in relief.
- KU scored three runs in the second to lead early. The Falcons scored a run in the sixth with an RBI-fielders choice by Nathan Carter. The Jayhawks added one more run in the eighth.
- Garrett Custons led the Falcons with two hits.
- Kansas had eight hits on the day. Jake Marasco led KU with three hits.
- So. RHP/IF David Baskais a native of Overland Park, Kan. and attended St. Thomas Aquinas HS. Baska is also the punter for the Falcon football team.
Falcons vs. Big 12
- Air Force is 4-28 all-time in 32 games vs. Big 12 Conference opponents.
- Air Force played Oklahoma earlier this season, losing a pair of games in Norman.
Recapping SDSU Series
- Air Force went 2-1 against San Diego State last weekend. The Falcons won Friday 10-7, lost Saturday 12-2 and won Sunday 10-8.
- The Falcons have five wins in MW play now, the most since the 2002 season.
- Air Force batted .333, had a 7.33 ERA and fielded .965 in the series.
- Four Falcons batted over .400 in the series.
- Fr. LF David Thomas batted .462 with seven RBIs.
- Seth Kline homered.
- Matt Thorne had a career-high four hits and three doubles in game three.
- Cameron White struck out five in 7.2 innings to get the win in game one.
- Ben Bertelson fanned eight in 5.2 innings in game two.
- Evan Abrecht struck out six in 7.0 innings in the win Sunday.
- Mike Kazakoffrecorded two saves in three games pitched.
Air Force is a different team at home and neutral sites, compared to playing on the road. The Falcons have a winning record at home and in neutral-site games, going 8-4 at Falcon Field and 4-3 in neutral-site games, for a 10-6 combined record. Conversely, Air Force is 0-23 on the road.
Looking for First True Road Win
Air Force is 0-23 on the road this season. The Falcons are 4-3 in neutral-site games. Last year, Air Force was 3-18 on the road.
Kazakoff Pitches in Eight Straight Senior RHP Mike Kazakoffhas pitched in Air Force's last eight games. It is believed to be a school record for most consecutive games pitched at AFA. Kazakoff notched the first two saves of his career over the weekend vs. San Diego State and the first two of the season for the Falcons this year. Kazakoff is second in the Mountain West with 24 appearances. He is six appearances shy of the school record of 30.
Defense On Record Pace
Air Force is currently fielding .960 on the season, that percentage is currently tied for the best in school history with last year's team. Air Force's top three fielding seasons have come in the last three years.
Pitching Staff Having Another Banner Year
11 weeks in, the Air Force pitching staff is on its way to another historic season. The Falcons currently post a 5.46 ERA. That total is 0.03 runs a game higher after 42 games compared to last year and 5.09 runs per game lower than two years ago at the same point in the season.
Starting Pitching Also Off To A Good Start
Air Force starting pitchers having one of its best seasons decades. The Falcon starting pitchers currently sport a 5.17 ERA, having struck out 200 in 245.1 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 4.88 ERA and just two years ago had a 11.31 ERA.
Freshmen Seeing Significant Action
Several freshman are seeing immediate playing time for the Falcons this year. Six freshmen has started in the field for the Falcons. Air Force has at least three freshmen in 36 of 42 games and four or more rookies in 15 games.
Up Next The Falcons close out its 2012 home slate with a three-game Mountain West series with TCU, May 11-13. It will be the final conference series with TCU, as it moves to the Big 12 Conference next season. It will also be the final home series for six Falcon seniors.