May 18, 2004
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
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Games 1 & 2: Thurs. May 20 - Air Force vs. BYU - 4 p.m.
Games 3 & 4: Fri. May 21 - Air Force vs. BYU - 4 p.m.
Games 5 & 6: Sat. May 22 - Air Force vs. BYU - 11 a.m.
Site: Larry H. Miller Field - Provo, Utah (2,300 Capacity)
Records: Air Force (5-41, 0-22 MWC); BYU (22-28, 12-12 MWC)
Coverage: All six games will have live stats available on the baseball schedule page at www.byucougars.com. Just click on selected game on schedule.
Air Force Baseball Concludes 2004 Regular Season With Six Games At BYU
The Air Force baseball team (5-41, 0-22 MWC) concludes its 2004 regular season with a six game set in three days, May 20-22, against BYU (22-28, 12-12 MWC) at Larry H. Miller Field in Provo, Utah. The Falcons and Cougars will are slated to play doubleheaders beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and concluding the series with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday. The two teams are playing six games in order to make up three games that were postponed due to weather in Colorado Springs, April 22-24.
Hutcheon At The Helm
Mike Hutcheon begins his first year as the head coach of the Falcons. Hutcheon spent the last four years at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. and compiled a record of 130-78 during his tenure there. In 2002, Hutcheon was named National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Coach of the year after leading Bethel to the 2002 NCCAA national title. Prior to his stay at Bethel, Hutcheon coached at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., for five seasons where he went 109-62. In his tenth season as a head coach, Hutcheon has compiled a 244-181 record.
Scouting Air Force
The Air Force baseball team was swept last weekend at New Mexico. AFA is currently batting .286 as a team, led by junior shortstop Nathan DeRohan, who is batting .303 with four home runs and a team-leading 15 doubles and 31 RBI's. The team pitching staff has an earned run average of 11.95, led by sophomore right-hander Clayton Couch, who leads the team with a 2-6 record to go with 34 strikeouts in 57.2 innings pitched.
Brigham Young (22-28, 12-12 MWC) is led by former Major Leaguer Vance Law, in his 5th year at the helm for the Cougars. BYU went 1-2 in a last weekend at San Diego State. The Cougars are batting .267 as a team, led by sophomore shortstop Brandon Taylor, who is batting .320 with a team leading 11home runs and 44 RBI. BYU has a 5.70 team earned run average, led by junior left-hander Patrick Wells, who is 6-4 (5.65 ERA) with 51 strikeouts in 92.1 innings pitched.
AFA-BYU Series History
Air Force and BYU have played each other 134 times with the Cougars having won 113 of those... Last year, AFA went 1-5 against BYU in six meetings... The two teams first played each other 42 years ago on June 2, 1962, as the Falcons beat the Cougars, 4-2, in Provo, Utah. ... Air Force is 7-17 against BYU since Mountain West Conference play began in 2000 and 3-8 at Falcon Field.
There are no Falcons from the state of Utah and no Cougars from Colorado... BYU pitching coach Bobby Applegate was also the pitching coach at Air Force from 1998-2001.
The Series At-A-Glance
Overall: BYU leads, 113-21
Current Streak: Air Force, 1 game
First Meeting: June 2, 1962 (Air Force, 4-2)
Last Meeting: May 17, 2003 (Air Force,17-11)
Most Air Force runs: 17 on May 17, 2003 (17-11)
Most BYU runs: 32 on April 24, 1987 (31-13)
Biggest win by Air Force: 9 on May 9, 1992 (14-5)
Biggest win by BYU: 23 on April 1, 1996 (27-4)
Air Force-Brigham Young: The Last Meeting
Eight seniors starting for Air Force went out in style, holding off BYU for a 17-11 victory on Saturday, May 17, in a Mountain West Conference baseball game at Falcon Field. The 17 runs scored by the Falcons were the most ever for AFA against the Cougars in the 41-year series history between the two programs. Air Force set team highs in a conference games for runs (17), hits (22) and RBI (17). Dan Petro went 5-for-5 with five RBI in his final game at Falcon Field. Derck Kasel was 3-for-6 with three runs scored and Josh Phifer was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. Mike Rose, the only junior in the batting order for the Falcons, went 4-for-5 on the day, and was one of seven Air Force hitters who had multiple hits. Clayton Couch picked up his first career collegiate victory in the start.
Last Time Out
The Falcons were swept in a three game series against New Mexico at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M. In game one, the Falcons committed four errors, leading to five unearned Lobo runs in a 8-5 loss. In game two, New Mexico 23 hits in a 20-4 win. UNM swept the series with a 16-6 win on Sunday. The Falcons were led offensively by Josh Wolfram, who doubled, tripled and homered in the series.
April Weather Woes
The Falcons had seven home conference games--all in April--postponed or cancelled due to rain and snow. Air Force was only able to play one game each against San Diego State and Utah, managing to get all three games in against New Mexico before having all three games vs. BYU postponed due to rain and snow. AFA will attempt to make up all the Utah and BYU games in Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, while the San Diego State games are cancelled.
Brent Tittle and Josh Wolfram had a team-leading four hits vs. New Mexico... Tittle also scored four runs vs. UNM... Geno Salazar hit his team-leading third triple vs. UNM... Jason Brown hit his team-leading fifth homer of the season vs. UNM and also had four RBI's in the series... Matt Musser has the Falcons' lone stolen base of the series... The Falcons batted .250 (22-for-85) vs. UNM.
Paul Vignola pitched seven innings in game one vs. New Mexico, giving up just three earned runs while striking out three... Mitch Brown also struck out three batters in his start vs. UNM... Clayton Couch made his 10th start of the season vs. UNM.
The Falcons fielded .914 against New Mexico, committing nine errors in the series... The Falcons turned a rare triple play against New Mexico on Sunday... AFA turned one double play in the series.
Freshmen Seeing Significant Time In The Infield
The youth movement is in full swing for the Air Force infield as three freshman have seen significant playing time among the five infield positions. Karl Bolt, who leads the team in hitting with a .321 average has started 40 games at either first or third base. Geno Salazar has started in 32 games at either shortstop or second base and Jon Polston leads the team with 31 starts at catcher.
Falcons Are Young In The Pitching Department As Well
Of the 15 players who have pitched for the Falcons in 2004, 13 of them are freshmen or sophomores. Five sophomores lead the team with 28 starts and 173.2 innings pitched logged amongst them, while eight freshmen have accounted for a team-leading 74 appearances with Mitch Brown leading the team with two saves and Blake Nixon tied for the team lead with 34 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched.
Sophomores Swingin' It
Three sophomores are also seeing significant starting time and putting up productive offensive numbers. Josh Wolfram has started 38 games in center field and has batted lead-off for the Falcons in 25 contests and leads the team with 13 stolen bases. Since being converted from pitcher to first base/outfield, Jason Brown has become a potent source of power as he leads the team with five home runs to go with 24 RBI. Matt Musser has started in 16 of 17 games he has played in since making the move up from the junior varsity squad and already has eight stolen bases and 13 runs scored.
Don't Forget The Juniors
Three of the top four hitters on the team are juniors, led by shortstop/third baseman Nathan DeRohan. DeRohan is the lone Falcon to start in all 46 games and leads the team in runs (30), hits (50), doubles (15) and RBI (31). Third on the team in hitting is second baseman Colton Walter, who is batting .289 with 10 multi-hit games. Team captain Travis Fugler, who has started 30 games in the outfield or first base is batting .287 and is tied for third on the team with 19 RBI. Brent Tittle has come on strong as of late scoring 17 runs in 24 games and is batting .375 (24-for-64).
Falcons Fall 7-3 To Colorado Springs Sky Sox In Exhibition Game
A six-run second inning propelled the Colorado Sky Sox to a 7-3 win over Air Force, in a five-inning exhibition baseball game at Sky Sox Stadium on Tuesday, April 6. Jeff Tetrault was tagged with the loss pitching the second inning. The Falcons got to work immediately in the first, scoring a run of Sky Sox starter Brian Tollberg to take a 1-0 lead. Colton Walter singled and then stole second base and came around to score on a throwing error by second baseman Erick Almonte. Air Force starter Paul Vignola threw a 1-2-3 inning in the first. The Sky Sox then exploded for six runs in the second as Clint Barmes hit a three-run homer and Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer. The Sky Sox tacked on one more run in the third as Garret Atkins homered off Kyle DePierre to make it a 7-1 game. The Falcons added runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Travis Fugler scored of Reid Lamson's sacrifice fly in the fourth and Matt Musser scored on a throwing error after stealing third base. Air Force had three hits on the day, led by Fugler, who went 2-for-3.
Air Force concludes the 2004 season with a trip to the 2004 Mountain West Conference Baseball Championships, taking place May 26-29 at Earl E. Wilson Stadium at Roger Barnson Field in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Falcons will be the sixth seed and will take on the third-seed (TBA) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26. Air Force is 2-8 all-time at the tourney and lost to UNLV and Utah last year at the 2003 MWC Championships which took place at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.
Falcons Broadcast Schedule Finalized
Nine Air Force baseball games will be broadcast on the internet and will be available on the telephone. All nine of those games will be broadcast on KBZC AM 1300 "The Buzz" in Colorado Springs. All of the below games will be available on the internet at www.AirForceSports.com. Just go to the baseball page and click on "Listen to the Falcons" in the Falcons' Next on the right side of the page. Those same games can be heard on the telephone on TeamLine by dialing 1-800-846-4700. The team access code is 0671. This service is free of charge to listeners thanks to the Air Force Academy athletic department. The pregame show begins 20 minutes prior to first pitch. Jay Ritchie, in his sixth season of doing Air Force baseball and his 15th season of broadcasting Air Force athletics, will handle the play-by-play duties. Dave Toller will handle the color commentary.
Remaining 2004 Air Force Baseball Broadcast Schedule
Date Opponent Time
5/26-29 Mountain West Conference Tournament TBA
Miscellaneous Falcon Facts
* Sophomore Jason Brown (varsity wide receiver) and sophomore Jimmy Harold (junior varsity quarterback) also play for the Air Force football team.
* Three current Falcons--Travis Fugler, Dale Kasel and Josh Wolfram--have brothers who also played for the AFA baseball team. Fugler's twin brother, Tommy, played for the team in 2002. Kasel's older brother, Derck, played for the team from 2000-03. Wolfram's older brother, Kris, played for the Falcons from 1999-2001.
* Before going on to become the all-time winningest NCAA Division I men's basketball coach at North Carolina, hoops coaching legend Lt. Dean Smith was an assistant baseball coach for the Falcons in 1958.