May 16, 2012
Air Force (14-36, 5-16) at New Mexico (30-22, 15-6)
- Thursday, May 17 (12 p.m.)
- Friday, May 18 (12 p.m.)
- Saturday, May 19 (12 p.m.)
All three games at Isotopes Park - Albuquerque, N.M.
AF: Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) is 33-72 in his second year.
New Mexico: Ray Birmingham (New Mexico St., 1978) is 154-137 in his 6th year at UNM and 919-391-2 in his 23rd year overall.
Last Time Out:
AF - Went 0-3 at home to #24 TCU last weekend and defeated Northern Colorado 7-6 Tuesday.
New Mexico - Went 2-1 at UNLV last weekend and defeated New Mexico St. 12-10 Tuesday.
- New Mexico leads, 114-41
- UNM had won 22 in a row until Falcons won last meeting 1-0, on April 7.
- Falcons went 1-2 vs. UNM at home, April 5-7.
Air Force Ends Regular Season at New Mexico
Air Force baseball closes out the 2012 regular season at New Mexico, May 17-19. Live stats and internet broadcast will be available for all three games. Air Force needs to sweep the series to get into the Mountain West Conference Championships.
Scouting The New Mexico
New Mexico is 30-22 on the season after going 2-1 at UNLV over the weekend and winning Tuesday vs. New Mexico State.
- The Lobos are batting .316, have an ERA of 4.66 and are fielding .966.
- So. 3B D.J. Peterson leads the MW with a .418 batting average, 14 homers and 64 RBIs.
- So. RHP Josh Walker (6-2, 4.36) and Jr. RHP Austin House (5-5, 3.21) are slated to start on the mound vs. AF.
Series History vs. New Mexico
- Air Force and New Mexico have played each other 155 times.
- The Lobos lead the series 114-41 and have won the last 20 meetings in the series.
- The two teams first met on May 2, 1957 where the Falcons defeated UNM, 8-7, in ten innings at the Academy.
First Meeting vs. New Mexico
- Air Force went 1-2 vs. New Mexico, April 5-7. The Falcons lost 19-0 on Thursday, 17-2 Friday and won 1-0 Saturday.
- The Falcons batted .219, had an ERA of 9.33 and fielded .933 vs. UNM.
- Evan Abrecht tossed a four-hit shutout on Saturday.
- Cameron White struck out six batters on Thursday.
- Senior Blair Roberts was AFA's top hitter, batting .444 (4-for-9).
- Freshman Brian Sicher had the game-winning RBI against UNM Saturday.
- Freshman Noah Pierce scored the game-winning run vs. UNM.
- Junior IF Matt Thorne returned to action after missing first 26 games on season due to injury and batted .333 (3-for-9) in the series.
- Tyler Saleck had a career-high two hits in game two.
- David Thomas hit his second homer of the season in game two.
Air Force-UNM Connections
- New Mexico has five players on its roster from Colorado.
Jr. IF Alex Albritton (Aurora - Grandview HS)
Jr. OF Luke Campbell (Arvada - Arvada West HS)
Jr. 1B/RHP Jacob Nelson (Lakewood - Wheatridge HS)
So. OF John Pustay (Colorado Springs - Pine Creek HS)
Jr. RHP Shan Zaruba (Longmont - Skyline HS)
Recapping TCU Series
- Air Force went 0-3 against #24 TCU last week. The Falcons lost 10-0, 17-2 and 6-1.
- The Falcons batted .188, had a 9.00 ERA and fielded .931 vs. TCU. - Matt Thorne and Matthew Roberts led the Falcons at the plate, batting .375 (3-for-8).
- Seth Kline homered for the Falcons in game three.
- Evan Abrecht pitched 8.2 innings on Sunday.
- Mike Kazakoff pitched in all three games in relief.
Recapping Northern Colorado Game
Air Force rallied to a 7-6 win over Northern Colorado Tuesday.
- Ben Yokley picked up the win in relief.
- Mike Kazakoff got his third save of the season.
- Blair Roberts capped a four-run fifth inning with a two-run homer.
- Garrett Custons, Matt Thorne, Matthew Roberts and David Thomas also had two hits each for the Falcons.
Seniors Get Assignments
All six Air Force baseball seniors have received their first assignments as 2nd. Lieutenants upon graduation in June.
Evan Abrecht - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot, Randolph AFB, Texas
Michael Ceci - Grad. school, University of Maryland, then pilot training.
Adam Hill - Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
Victor Iacobbo - Civil Engineering, Barksdale AFB, La.
Mike Kazakoff - Financial Management, Davis Monthan, AFB, Ariz.
Blair Roberts - Financial Management, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
Most MW Wins Since 2002
Air Force's five Mountain West Conference wins are the most by a Falcon baseball team since 2002, when the program won 14 games. Air Force had managed just four conference wins three times in the past nine years.
Air Force baseball has several school records within reach this weekend vs. New Mexico. The Falcons currently are tied with the 2011 team for the highest fielding percentage ever and have tied the 2010 team for most sac bunts. Reliever Mike Kazakoff is within two appearances of tying the school record of 33 appearances with three games left to play.
Most Appearances - Mike Kazakoff (31), school record 33 by two pitchers.
Best fielding Pct. - .960, tied with 2011 team.
Most Sac Bunts - 44, tied with 2010 team.
Most Fr. Sac Bunts - Noah Pierce (7), one shy of tying record.
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, going 8-7 at Falcon Field and are 4-5 in neutral-site games, for a 12-12 combined record. Conversely, Air Force is 2-24 on the road.
Falcons Get First True Road Win
Air Force is 2-24 on the road this season. After dropping 24 on the road to start the season, the Falcons won its first true road game on May 5 at Kansas and won its next road game vs. Northern Colorado Tuesday.
Kazakoff Pitches in 11 Straight; 15 of last 16
Senior RHP Mike Kazakoff pitched in 11 consecutive games for Air Force, having the streak snapped in the Falcons' last game vs. Kansas. It is a school record for most consecutive games pitched at AFA. Kazakoff has pitched in 15 of AFA's last 16 games. Kazakoff is first in the Mountain West with 31 appearances. He is two appearances shy of the school record of 33.
Defense On Record Pace
Air Force is currently fielding .960 on the season, that percentage is currently tied for the school record set by last year's team. Air Force's top three fielding seasons have come in the last three years.
Catchers Tough To Run On
Air Force leads the Mountain West with 29 runners thrown out attempting to steal. As a team, the Falcons have thrown out 54.7 percent of attempted base stealers. Junior Garrett Custons leads the conference with 20 runners thrown out and has thrown out 66.7 percent of attempted base stealers.
Pitching Staff Having Another Banner Year
The Air Force pitching staff is on its way to another historic season. The Falcons currently post a 5.59 ERA. That total is 0.33 runs a game lower after 50 games compared to last year and 5.75 runs per game lower than two years ago at the same point in the season.
Starting Pitching Best In Years
Air Force starting pitchers having one of its best seasons decades. The Falcon starting pitchers currently sport a 5.21 ERA, having struck out 228 in 292.0 innings. At this same point last year, the Falcons starters had a 5.47 ERA and just two years ago had a 12.31 ERA.